…the blogger/author of these pages.
I am not a veteran. I come from a family of veterans. My father served in the army during WW II and saw various campaigns, including the Saipan campaign. His military records were destroyed in a warehouse fire, so my family will never know all that he endured (he didn’t speak about the war). My younger brother joined the National Guard and remained stateside. He eventually became a recruiter. My older brother joined the Air Force and remained stateside during his enlistment. My oldest brother was an officer in the army and was near fatally wounded in the Ia Drang Valley battle in November of 1965.
I did not begin focusing on veterans’ issues until Veterans Day weekend of 2005, the 40th anniversary of the battle in the Ia Drang Valley. I met three Medal of Honor recipients at the opening reception. The events of the weekend changed my life. It has been my most good fortune to continue meeting Medal of Honor recipients and writing about these heroic individuals. I have met a total of eleven and each time, I marvel at how none of them regard themselves as heroes. Not a one.
Since 2005 I have considered myself an advocate for the men and women in the uniform of our country, and speak and write on their behalf whenever I can. Many of the veteran friends I now have have resulted from that weekend in 2005. But like good fellowship, it has expanded to include those organizations who support veterans as well. I am now a member of our state’s Patriot Guard, and I say that with pride, sitting up straight. And all my veteran friends — all of them — are heroes to me.
This blog is dedicated to the noble calling of serving one’s country and doing the best of one’s ability in the face of the most horrific circumstances, including death, torture and rejection from one’s own country. I sincerely believe our country learned its lesson when it turned its back on our Vietnam veterans, and now regret its cruelty to them. Hopefully, it is seeing beyond the uniform to the man or woman, and will take more careful and deliberate thought in deciding to engage them in combat. Then once the country does this, it will insist, as a unit that our Congress does it as well.
This blog is dedicated not to the uniform, but to the men and women who wear it with dignity, pride and commitment. It is a blog to the spirit of honor.