My husband is a Vietnam veteran. He served as a USMC helicopter door gunner 1966-67, stationed at Marble Mountain and Dong Ha. He flew over 98 combat missions in Vietnam. He received the Purple Heart and is a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He is my number one hero.
But all vets are my heroes. I go out of my way to thank any vet who I see wearing a cap or jacket that identifies him/her as one of the brave who fought for our freedoms. We can never thank them enough.
I know that more vets than usual will be wearing their hats today so please thank them. And take a moment to welcome Vietnam vets home. You would be surprised at how many Vietnam vets have still never heard those words.
We should applaud our vets whenever and wherever we see them, not just on Veteran's Day.
And here are few local veterans who served for our freedoms.
This is just a scattering of those who have served in our area. We have many locals in Iraq and Afghanistan at this very moment. Our thoughts are with you and all who serve with you.
Thank you, everyone. The words sound so small for all that you do and all that you have done. Know this. You are not, nor will you ever be, forgotten.
I would like to take this opportunity to say Happy Veteran's Day to Col. Ben Purcell USA (Ret.), our good friend in Georgia. He was the highest ranking Army officer to be held as a POW in Vietnam; being held for more than five years (he was released in 1973). In his five years (1874 days) of captivity, he was moved through three camps, escaped twice, was held in solitary for 58 months, and endured starvation and torture.
Ben has been speaking to organizations about his experiences for many years. He has made several trips back to Vietnam over the years and continues to be active with veteran's groups. He and his wife own a Christmas tree farm. Ben never misses watching the sun set.
Col. Purcell taking his first ride on a Huey since he was shot down in Vietnam. I took this photo during the filming of the documentary "In The Shadow of the Blade"; this part being filmed at our home in Georgia (my husband is on the other side ready for liftoff).
During the filming, Col. Purcell moved us all with his speech and a showing of the things he had brought out of the last camp. If you want some amazing reading check out "Love & Duty", by Ben and Anne Purcell at Amazon. Anne is a wonderful person. For five years, she never knew if Ben was alive or dead, but she fought the fight everyday, never giving up. With five small children at home, Anne was a founding member of the National League of Families, traveling later to Paris to meet with the
Also, check out the DVD and watch it with your family. This educational film has been shown at many schools, universities, churches, and organizations around the country. If anyone would like to show it in this area please send me an email. I highly recommend it, not because my husband is in it, but because it is something that everyone needs to see.
BTW, the Huey used in the video (everyone calls her Huey 091 for her tail number) can be seen at the Price of Freedom Exhibit at the National Museum of American History in D.C.
Welcome Home and Thank You. No. I can't say it enough.
"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." ~ Cynthia Ozick