A Veterans View
As we celebrate the 4th of July, the birth of America’s Independence, it brings to mind the endless journeys of Veterans who have supported our country with deep sacrifices. These sacrifices have redefined what Independence means to America.
It is amazing to think about the vision of our forefathers when they established the United States Military Academy 26 years after 1776. USMA was established in 1802 and has produced countless military leaders, business executives and politicians. West Point’s curriculum demands academic excellence, demands physical and mental toughness, and develops future leaders. More importantly West Point has produced thousands of men and women who following their service, live lives of great courage and character.
After graduation from West Point, my education continued with Airborne school, Jumpmaster school, Ranger training and Basic Officers Courses and then, deployment.
I reported to the 82nd Airborne Division and received orders for Vietnam, 1968-1969. It is in this war that the Class of 1967 lost 30 classmates KIA, more than any class. This was about 5% of our graduating class who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. I keep a photograph of their names which are etched into a window at West Point.
How did all this experience impact my journey with ALS?
First, I still maintain the mental toughness from all my training and experiences. I believe that there is no problem too difficult to figure out. Next, I developed a support team who have assisted me in this journey and I continue to do extensive research. I got involved to provide meaningful help where I could make a difference for other ALS patients.
I always try to keep a sense of humor. Most importantly, I am fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who have supported me completely.
I support Augie’s Quest because of their focus, their leadership, and the results they have accomplished. I realize that everyone is searching for the “cure” but my discussions with their leadership team about focusing on ways to slow the progression illustrates their commitment to a broader approach for ALS patients.
Let’s continue the fight to find a cure.
USMA Class of 1967