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, …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Two Swedish women have invented an inflatable bike helmet. (Learn more at Sports Illustrated) 2. Military veteran dogs find second careers as explosives detectives at the U.S. Capitol. (Learn more at Washington Post) 3. A new kind of tattoo on your throat could be used as a microphone – and double as a lie detector. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. The classic rubber duckie and the game of chess are in the National Toy Hall of …

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. Share why do you think fewer Veterans are in Congress — AARP Community » In the House of Representatives the total of 85 veterans – out of 435 members – is also the lowest since …