A New Washington Memorial Just for Disabled Vets

In June 1969, Dennis Joyner was a 20-year-old soldier on patrol in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta when he encountered a land mine that ripped off his legs and an arm. He had only been in the war-torn country 32 days. Now 66, Joyner has learned to navigate life over the years from a wheelchair and is one of the nation’s more than 3 million disabled vets. He will also be among the crowds at the dedication of the American Veterans Disabled …

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 …

For Some Parents, Every Day Is Memorial Day

In World War II, families learned of a loved one killed in action by telegram. My husband’s grandfather, with two military sons, recalled watching the telegram delivery man ride his bike down the street and praying that he would not stop at his door. Today a uniformed service member delivers the notification in person. Since 2001, the families of almost 7,000 men and women have opened their front doors to that devastating news. In that instant, life changes, leaving parents, …

24 Veterans Get Long-Overdue Medals of Honor

Melvin Morris vividly remembers the day in September 1969 when he became a war hero in the eyes of others. Morris was a young Green Beret staff sergeant in South Vietnam. After his master sergeant was killed in a jungle ambush in the vicinity of Chi Lang, Morris, serving as the commander of a Special Forces strike force, went back into the line of fire three times to recover the body and a map case – and was wounded three …

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 …

Encore! The Highest Honor for Veterans

What timing for Veterans Day! Winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, for people 60+ who are making a difference in others’ lives by combining their personal experience and passion, were announced this week. Two of these annual prizes, awarded by the nonprofit “second act” organization Encore.org, went to people working with vets. This year’s social entrepreneurs could be a resource for readers. If nothing else, their efforts will blow you away. Vicki Thomas: A career public relations and marketing executive in Connecticut, …