This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.- Elmer Davis
On November 11, the MobileEast team facilitated a very special Door-to-Door recording at the VA Medical Center in Lake City, Florida. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it was the first Veterans Day when I have ever done anything to honor our servicemen and women. But having spent the day with a few of them, I now feel committed to recognize their bravery, sacrifice, and their stories every year.
At the VA Medical Center I heard the story of former World War II POW Arthur Chadwick and the emotional first visit that Robert “Bobcat” Pate made to the Wall, years after his own return from Vietnam and his long journey out of homelessness. I also heard stories from Rob Marietta and Paul Gibson who credit their friendship and their survival to their strong faith in God. Of course, anyone familiar with StoryCorps knows that you do not have to go to a VA hospital in order to hear the stories of men and women who have made sacrifices for our country through their involvement in the military. We hear from fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, and sisters and brothers who have all been affected in some way by their own service or the service of a loved one. Sometimes the first conversation these men and women have with loved ones about their experiences during times of war take place in a StoryCorps booth. No matter what those conversations reveal, what pride or pain, what sadness or joy, it is an honor and a privilege to help those conversations take place.