Chester Nez: Last of the Navajo Code-Talkers

When Chester Nez attended boarding school in the 1930s, he risked having his mouth washed out with soap if he spoke in Navajo instead of English. But fortunately for America’s fortunes during World War II, he never forgot the language of his people. Nez, who

Paying It Forward: Banks Give Free Homes to Wounded Vets

Julie Barcheers is on her way to becoming a first-time homeowner without having to buy a house. The 55-year-old Army veteran participates in a program by the Military Warriors Support Foundation that matches those wounded in service with houses donated by major banks. Barcheers recently received the keys to a three-bedroom house in Carriere, Miss. If she pays the annual property taxes and meets other criteria, the house will be hers in three years – free of any mortgage. “For …

Lou Brissie: Baseball’s Wounded Warrior

During World War II, major league baseball stars who were called up to serve in the military often got relatively cushy assignments, working as physical education trainers or playing in exhibition games to entertain their fellow troops. But not pitcher Lou Brissie, at the time a promising prospect coveted by the Philadelphia Athletics’ Connie Mack. After leaving South Carolina’s Presbyterian College to enlist in the Army, the 20-year-old corporal nearly lost his life on an Italian battlefield in 1944, when a …

Why So Few Veterans in Congress?

Why are there so few veterans in Congress these days? The end of the military draft 40 years ago and the gradual retirement and passing away of the World War II generation have contributed to a record low of 17 veterans in the 100-member U.S. Senate. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. In the House of Representatives the total of 85 veterans – out of 435 members – is also the lowest since World War II. The high point …

Tom Clancy: Insurance Man Turned Mega-Novelist

Toiling by day at an insurance agency in the 1970s, Tom Clancy dreamed of writing bestselling action thrillers. Unlike most would-be novelists, Clancy, who died on Oct. 1 at age 66 in Baltimore, had two things going for him. First, he had a great idea for a story (inspired by a newspaper article about Soviet sailors who’d tried to defect), in which a Red submarine captain stages a clever ploy to switch sides, with the help of an intrepid CIA agent named …

One Veteran’s View: “We’re In Wars We Never Should Have Been In”

Susan Milligan is visiting six Election 2012 battleground states to talk with 50-plus voters for a report that will be published in the September issue of the AARP Bulletin. She posted this from New Hampshire. Henry S. Maxfield is proud to have fought for his country in World War II. And he lives in a state with the motto “Live Free or Die.” But when it comes to how much the country should invest in its military, Maxfield, 89, has …