To the editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Newton Daily News for the articles that were written about me. I would also like to thank Jasper County, Doug Bishop, and the “red” shirt people for the memorable flight to Washington D.C.
It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I feel humble just to be considered to go on this trip. I have never ever considered myself any kind of a hero. Just an NCO doing his job.
I did in my many years of service meet some who were. Some who worked with me, and some who worked for me.
Two Explosives Ordnance Disposal NCO’s, who spent two tours in VietNam just to be killed in a car wreck within six months after they returned to the States.
An army Half Track Commander who earned a Bronze Star in a fire fight.
A Navy Petty Officer who was aboard the U.S.S. Forestal in the Gulf Of Tonkin when an explosion occurred and it caught fire.
An Air Force Airman who was within 5 feet of the airplane to leave VietNam at the end of his first tour, just to be stopped and made to stay for another tour.
An NCO who left the Air Force to pursue a law enforcement career to be killed in a airplane crash chasing a felon on the day he was supposed to be retiring.
A medic in both the Army and Marine Corps who spent one tour in one and two in the other who can’t even sleep with his wife because of the effects of PTSD.
And last but not least, my son, who spent 18-1/2 years in the Army and was killed in a car wreck.
These people I consider heroes. I’m sure there are thousands more whose stories haven’t been told, but these I know of personally. Sorry for rambling on, but I thought that these men needed to be pointed out.
U.S. Air Force
Senior Master Sgt. (ret.)