Shortly after midnight on Saturday, two weeks ago, I received this text message: “Miraculously, we found Bill’s crash site and the farmer who was nearby that day.”
That message was from halfway around the world in Vietnam, where my friend, Gen. Bill Raines (USA Ret.), was with another friend, Lt. Col. Bill Gauntt (USAF Ret.), on their return trip to a country where, as young men, they gave much and lost many. Our national sacrifice there includes the incalculable cost of 58,220 U.S. military fatalities, and the countless walking wounded who returned home — some of those wounds visible, many not.
I’ve known many “old guys” a half generation ahead of me, Vietnam veterans – American Patriots who served our nation with honor and dignity. It has been a humbling privilege to profile a few of them, and by extension, to honor their generation of veterans.
Among those profiles is a man who was a lifelong mentor, former POW Col. Roger Ingvalson (USAF Ret.). Two of his grandsons are now flying A-10 Warthogs. Another friend was also a POW and Medal of Honor recipient, Col. Leo Thorsness (USAF Ret.), who passed away last year.
Leo was the author of “Mike’s Flag,” a brief but powerful tribute to a fellow POW, a young Navy pilot named Mike Christian. It is the preface to a children’s book sponsored by The Patriot Post, “I’m Your Flag.”
There are also the Marine profile tributes — Col. “Big” Jim McGinn and another Medal of Honor recipient, Col. Wesley Fox (USMC Ret.), who also passed away last year... ~The Patriot Post