Thursday, October 24, 2013

More than a name on a wall

Last month, I told you about Lt. Stanley K. Smiley, whose name is on my POW/MIA bracelet.

Earlier this month, it was a distinct privilege to travel to Washington, D.C., in memory of the late, great Sam Hardman on the HonorAir Knoxville flight, which takes World War II and Korean War era veterans to see their monuments.

Because nobody in the Beltway has a brain, most things were closed due to the government shutdown.

Don't worry. That didn't stop the veterans.

But, it did stop me from making a rubbing of two names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known popularly as The Wall.

I wanted to make a rubbing of Bruce Blakely's name for my dad. Dad and Bruce were buddies. Bruce graduated from Halls High in 1969, joined the U.S. Marines and was killed by friendly fire in Vietnam on June 8, 1970.

I also wanted to sketch Stanley K. Smiley's name.

Enter Lisa Deason.

Lisa, a licensed tour guide in D.C., saw me at The Wall and asked me to write down information about both men and give her my address. She said she'd make the rubbings for me as soon as she could.

They arrived in the mail today. God bless ya, Lisa. Saying thank you for your kindness seems inadequate.

And to Bruce and Stanley and to all the 58,000-plus, please know that you are indeed more than a name on a wall.

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