Posts Tagged ‘Fort Lewis’

A special day with Iraq-bound soldiers

September 3, 2010

This is off-topic for crisisblogger readers but wanted to share with you a very special day yesterday. As some of you know, I am a history buff, particularly WWII history and I was privileged to write the biography of a P-38 fighter pilot. What makes his story unique is that after he was shot down he, along with 167 other Allied flyers caught with the French Underground, were sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. Hitler had declared them “terrorfliegers” and sentenced them to a cruel death. After two months and near starvation they were rescued by the German Air Force and sent to POW camp. Writing this book and going with the now 89-year old hero, Joe Moser, on numerous speaking engagements has been a great joy to me. But yesterday was something special.

We were invited to Joint Base Lewis McChord to address the 62nd Medical Brigade. It was unforgettable to stand in front of about 600 soldiers in battle fatigue and tell them Joe’s story and then have Joe speak to them and answer their numerous questions. This was their last meeting for many of them before two weeks leave and then deployment to Iraq–many for the second time. What meant the most to me was what a young soldier named Pangborn who came up to me after the presentation and said he knew that if and when times got tough for the soldiers in theater they would remember Joe and his story and take strength from it. It meant a lot for Joe as well, realizing that over 70 years after he joined the Army Air Corps he could be an inspiration for today’s young soldiers.

Some days are just worth the living and yesterday was certainly one of them. By the way, Joe’s book is called “A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald,” available at most bookstores or on Amazon.

God speed to all you brave men and women. And a special thanks to Frank Cisneros for inviting us and making this happen.