To celebrate Veterans Day, we asked WRR listeners to submit stories of outstanding Dallas-area service men and women to be read on air and posted online. Of the many touching nominations, these were among our favorites.
My Dad was a navigator in the Air Force for a KC-135 (Fuel Refueler) and served his country well. He entered the Air Force in 1960 and served for 9 years. In service to his country, he and his flight crew were awarded the distinguished honor of the Mackay Trophy in 1967. This is an honor that the Air Force selects once a year to an individual, crew or squadron for meritorious flight of the year. This is such a high honor that his name is forever engraved in the trophy in Washington DC at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The reason for the honor is that (taken from the award) “The crew distinguished themselves by extraordinary achievement during this flight when they were suddenly called upon to perform the first multiple air refueling between KC-135 aircraft and an A-3 Navy Tanker which simultaneously refueled Navy F-8 aircraft, under emergency fuel shortages and combat conditions…as a result, they saved six Navy aircraft and their crews”. Unfortunately, my father passed away while serving his government in the Private Sector when an experimental aircraft similar to an modern-day AWACs was lost at sea while monitoring a French Nuclear test.
Submitted by Tim Hoar about his dad, Capt. Dean Lester Hoar
The veteran I would like to nominate is a man named Max Glauben. He is a Holocaust survivor who was liberated by the U.S. Army while on a death march. He then worked for the army in Europe as a civilian cook until relocating to the United States in 1947. After gaining U.S. citizenship, he joined the army and served for several years until being honorably discharged. He still resides in Dallas and continues to lead an active life at age 92.
Submitted by Howard Townsend
Today I am writing about an extraordinary veteran, my father Robert Nelson. He served in the United States Navy on a ballistic submarine called the USS Alaska, during the Persian Gulf War. He worked in the engine room making nuclear energy to run the submarine. Since the submarine is still in commission, my dad isn’t able to tell us about the missions. My father now works at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. Because Texas was four seconds away from a total blackout during this past winter ice storm, Texas would’ve plunged into total darkness if it was not for my father and his team who worked around the clock so that this would not happen. Since I was young, my five siblings and myself have always thanked veterans for their sacrifices to this country, with a handshake or writing Christmas cards to the VA hospital. I’m grateful to my dad, for all he has taught me.
Submitted by Luke Nelson, a high school student
My husband Olin’s only dream while in high school was to become a Navy Chaplain. The recruiter of course said the best place to start was at the bottom. He joined while in high school, went to boot camp, was trained as a hospital corpsman, and was attached to the Marines as a combat medic. Later he was honorably discharged from the Navy. After seminary and serving seven years in the parish, he had to decide if he would indeed pursue his long-time chaplaincy dream, but the only branch of the military open at that time was the Army. So, he joined the Army National Guard, went to Army Chaplain’s School and was all ready to go on active duty when out of the blue, his denomination endorsed him for active-duty Air Force. He said, “Show me where to sign!” 5 ½ years Navy/USMC, 2 years Army National Guard, 16 years Air Force: I am always embarrassed when he stands up for all four service songs at Veterans’ programs!
Submitted by Mrs. Carolyn Knudsen
Mr. Robert Henry Hynds joined the military in 1943 at the age of 17. His basic training was conducted at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he received artillery training. Upon completion of his training, Mr. Hynds was stationed in California awaiting deployment to the Pacific Theater to fight the Japanese. After a brief assignment in New Guinea, Mr. Hynds was sent to Luzon to help liberate the Philippine Islands from the Japanese who had conquered the islands a few years earlier. Mr. Hynds and his fellow servicemen encountered fierce fighting in the jungles. The Japanese used guerilla tactics, suicide attacks, and were well positioned in caves. Mr. Hynds was wounded when a hand grenade was thrown into his foxhole and by a land mine explosion. Many of the men in his battalion were killed, including the commanding officer. After the Japanese surrendered, Mr. Hynds’ division was sent to occupy and patrol areas around Tokyo. Mr. Hynds returned to the United States in early 1946. During his service, Mr. Hynds earned the Asiatic Pacific Campaign ribbon with two bronze stars; the Philippines Campaign ribbon with one bronze star and one arrowhead; the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster; the Good Conduct Medal and the Infantry Combat Badge. In addition, he received a Unit Citation and the Victory Ribbon. Mr. Hynds is 96 years old and is a life-long resident of Van Alstyne, Texas.
Submitted by Matt Sullivan
Dale Eddy was a Marine pilot who flew helicopters in Vietnam War. On one mission, they were ambushed while dropping troops in the landing zone. Eddy was shot in the neck and temporally paralyzed – slumped over in his cockpit, he recalled floating above his body praying and thinking about his pregnant wife in back home in the states. While Eddy was trying to coax himself back into his body, his wounded gunner drug his M-60 machine gun to a rice dike and held the enemy at bay. Not long afterwards, the two Marines would be rescued but most of his crew had been killed or injured that day.
What’s WILD about this story is that LIFE magazine was doing an article on a fellow Marine who would attempt to rescue Eddy with a photographer in-tow. The result was powerful black and white images that would end-up being LIFE’s April, 1965, cover story, One Ride With Yankee Papa 13. Unfortunately, Dale Eddy passed this year but he was always so very grateful for the bravery of his fellow Marines – as were his family, sons Chris & Scott and wife Sandra Eddy. Dale Eddy (dad) always loved John Philip Sousa’s, The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Submitted by Scott Eddy
WWII bomber pilot John “Lucky” Luckadoo has more projects in the works than most people decades younger than this 99-year-old. John “Lucky” Luckadoo flew 25 missions as a B-17 bomber pilot in the U.S. Eighth Air Force as part of the legendary “Bloody Hundredth” 100th Bombardment Group during World War II. No combat unit sustained such heavy losses as the Group’s original flight crews — only four of the original 38 co-pilots completed their combat tour of 25 missions — and Lucky is the last of the four. Now, Lucky is leading an effort to have May 9th established as National Home Front Heroes Day honoring Americans who stayed home and supported the military. “There are numerous holidays, special days and events honoring veterans, but there are none acknowledging the people on the home front who do their duty, too, and I hope to change that,” he said. “During my time in the service, the people back home made tremendous sacrifices. Things would not have turned out the way they did without the support of our Home Front Heroes then. And we have Home Front Heroes today who are still making sacrifices.” With the support of City of Dallas District 10 Councilman Adam McGough and the leadership of Presbyterian Village North, where Lucky is a resident, he’ll be rallying support for National Home Front Heroes Day during a book tour when his biography, DAMN LUCKY, is published in April and in Dallas when Home Front Heroes Day is celebrated on May 9. We salute you, Lucky!
Submitted by Beth Wilbins
Jeffery Gray was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, graduated from high school in 1978, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he spent twelve years working in artillery. Around 1989, Jeffery developed a bad leg and got out of the Marines to find a civilian job, and in 2013, he retired due to weight gain and joint injuries. He said, “My biggest thing I talk about myself is that I started doing things for others.” It started when Jeffrey made his dying cousin the promise to work on his weight. He started walking Heroes bridge in Rockwall, Texas, and would carry the flag he had kept on his house. “I just started carrying it and it became its own thing,” Jeffery says. He found out about the 22 daily veteran suicides. In Jeffery’s words, “It started giving me a purpose, more than myself, to bring attention to that by carrying the flag and walking the bridge on a daily basis….Walking with a backpack and carrying the flag gives me…a mission every day to complete. I walk for my brothers and sisters in arms…that’s why I do what I do,” and he continues: “Martin Luther said, ‘If you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl. But whatever you do, don’t quit.’ Your story isn’t over yet, not until God says it is and He’s ready for you. So don’t quit….Find something out there for your purpose…and make a difference. Help people, anything to make their day better. In turn, it will make yours better.”
Submitted by Gloria Shalom Crouch
Dr. Hank is a Vietnam Veteran and has the most amazing story while he was in South Korea, where he took down the Korean Mafia! Dr. Hank was a supply sergeant in the United States Army and in 1972 was serving with a missile site on top of a mountain in Korea. He had access to 5 military supply points, including the Air Force’s military base. He was approached by the Korean Mafia and offered thousands of dollars each week to fill his trucks up with refrigerators, fuel, and all kinds of valuable merchandise. Dr. Hank insisted on first meeting the head of the Korean Mafia in Seoul, where he entered into an agreement. He then informed his Commanding Officer of this agreement and within days was working for the CIA. Within months, Dr. Hank and the CIA took down the Korean Mafia and Dr. Hank was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. This entire story can be found in Dr. Hank Seitz’s book The Happiest Man In The World. Dr. Hank will also be recognized in Frisco’s Veterans Parade. Dr. Hank is also a Mental Scientist, best-selling author and helps people realize their dreams.
Submitted by Dr. Hank Seitz
In January 1964, I boarded my ship USS Brister DER-327. Brister had patrolled the Mariana and Carolina Islands for years. Our role, to intercept foreign or hostile vessels attempting to encroach upon islands of the Trust Territories of the Pacific assigned to the U.S. by the United Nations. During WWII they had been occupied by Japan. Early in 1965, we had orders to return to the continental U.S. We left Guam for Pearl Harbor, but upon arrival in Hawaii, our orders were cancelled and we were redeployed to Vietnam. We were one of five ships to operate as area commanders off the coast of South Vietnam where we engaged suspicious junks, sampans, and merchant vessels. Vietnamese liaison officers cruised with us and served as translators when we investigated hostile craft. Locals appreciated our protection from the enemy.
Submitted by Rich Weatherly of North Richland Hills
My submission is in honor or my 97-year-old dad and longtime WRR listener, James Crouch. James Crouch was raised in the Cobb Switch community. Small communities had little to prepare young men for what they were about to experience. In 1944, during WWII, he drove a jeep for headquarters in Germany, on icy mountain roads, mostly at night, with no lights.
His love for veterans led James to attend reunions, make calls to his Army friends, and helped create the Kaufman County Memorial Park. James continues to make sure certain veterans’ names are listed at the park.
James is a promoter of the Honor Flight. After making the flight he nominated others. This organization recognizes veterans by transporting them to DC to see the memorials of the war they fought, at no cost to the veteran.
James will be 98 in December and there’s not a day that he fails to mention his experience or express his pride for our country’s service men and women.
Submitted by Paul Crouch
I am not a Texan, but did boot camp at Fort Hood in 1944 and all of my eleven grand and great-grandkids were born in the Dallas area. My mother kissed me on the cheek at 17 years old to send me off to war in General Patton’s 3rd army Armored Tank division. She said in her native Hungarian “God be with you”. My buddy was almost a victim of friendly fire by my own hands. He called out my name and that saved him. He had gotten off track when returning to camp and entered from the wrong direction which put him in the line of fire. God was with him. It was thought that all the Buchenwald survivors kissed the ground that we soldiers walked on. Those dear victims were so weak and frail that they could only express their gratitude with their loving eyes. God was with them. I always felt a red white and blue umbrella of protection over me the entire time of my service. On my burial day in 2015, this vet was laid to rest in N.J. with military honors and a 21- gun salute. The same beautiful, white, glistening snowflakes of hope fell on me that cold winters day as they had in the Ardennes forest so many years ago. Happy Veterans Day! God be with us.
Submitted by Jan Reed
Our story begins at Carswell AFB Tx in 1981, where I was an aircraft mechanic on KC135 aircraft. I walked by the Alert Force controller office and seen the controller reading the hometown newspaper from a small town in Ohio. I said “hey I am from there” and it has been love ever since. I married Linda in 1983 and we are now 39 glorious years of marriage and 3 children into a wonderful life together. We had no idea either one of our families existed until that day. I thank you, USAF and God for bringing us together.
Submitted by Michael Corso
Thanks to WRR for honoring vets in this manner this year. This speaks highly of the entire station staff. This input is not about me, although I am a proud vet, proud to be a combat veteran, very proud to have served, most proud to be an American military member. This is about the Late General Colin Powell. All news reports paid excellent tribute to one of the greatest, as much for service after military as during service. One often overlooked fact is the impact Gen. Powell had on how general public regarded military service members. As JCS Chairman under President George HW Bush along with Defense Secretary Cheney and because of the way they led Desert Shield and Desert Storm (by letting military Generals execute the war) they changed how the nation felt and regarded soldiers, combats in particular, and all military service members. Before this, Viet Nam vets never wore hats in public as do all vets proudly now. No one ever said “thank you for your service.” There was hardly any public respect to military vets and their families, least of all Viet Nam vets before Desert Storm. We all kept quiet in public until it became socially acceptable to show pride in our service. This all came later in the 90s and we are glad it did because all combat vets lost friends and comrades, and families endured hardships. So on this occasion of tribute to vets, I respectfully and proudly submit the Lte Gen Colin Powell,
Thank you again for doing this for the vets.
Submitted by Neil Slattery, Maj, USAF (Ret), Proud WRR Listener