One of the highlights of my writing career was the day I got a call from LtCol H. Spencer Faircloth (Ret.). Spence wanted my help writing a book about his extraordinary life. He didn’t land at Normandy on D-Day. He was still a kid, back home in Georgia, collecting metal in a mule-drawn wagon to help the war effort. He walked to high school; and, later, paid his way through Emory University cleaning up in a hospital. As the Korean conflict loomed, Spence enlisted in the USAF.

Later, he would go through OCS. As a “Mustang,” Spence got a bit more respect from Enlisted men, often because he knew enough to listen to his top sergeant.

Spence helped rebuild Europe, and he worked on the U.S. rocket program in its infancy. His stories of hotshot fighter jocks, randy French officers and clannish Belgian tradesmen are hilarious. His recollections of working with Gen. Ben Davis to thwart procedural racism in the service, and his efforts to help returning servicemen find meaningful work showed me a man who cared deeply, both for his country and his fellow veterans.

I found out recently that a handful of Congressmen who work on laws related to veterans are reading our book about LtCol. Faircloth’s life and career, specifically the parts pertaining to the President’s Committee on Jobs for Veterans, looking for inspiration. There is plenty of inspiration to be found there, as Spence literally wrote the book on helping veterans find jobs. And there are plenty of veterans who could use a tangible “thank you” from the country they served.

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about the veterans who have made a difference in my life, about Spence and the Vietnam-era men he helped, and about the tens of thousands of veterans our generation is now duty-bound to assist. Most veterans will not ask for help, even when they need it. That’s just who they are.

And, you know what? They shouldn’t have to ask.

 

1 Comment

  1. Julie Pomeroy

    I loved this book. I have a few copies at my shop, Julie’s Walk-in Closet in Brandon for sake for $15.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Vero Beach

Vero Beach

Vero Beach And Other Hidden Gems on the Treasure Coast   When vacationers, even many Florida natives, think about hitting the beach on the Atlantic coast, they head to Daytona, Cocoa, Lauderdale or Amelia Island. Florida’s Treasure Coast is treated as...

Captiva, FL – Pirates, Parrots & Mucky Ducks

Captiva, FL – Pirates, Parrots & Mucky Ducks

Situated off the southwest coast of peninsular Florida just north of Sanibel Island, Captiva takes its name from a local legend. According to the tales, infamous swashbuckler, Jose Gaspar, imprisoned women he was holding for ransom somewhere on this little...

Banish Writer’s Block For Good

Banish Writer’s Block For Good

Many, if not most prospective writers are born storytellers. Sergeant Friday would hate us because we rarely, if ever, stick to “just the facts, ma’am.” We love to recite even the simplest activity in narrative form. Whether it be a relatively mundane...

Avoid This Communication Trap

Avoid This Communication Trap

With his trademark understated cultural satire, Bill Watterson strikes a chord for all of us who are sick to death of — or at least hopelessly confused by — empty jargon, meaningless, business-speak and other words that take up space but communicate...

Lady and the Scamp

Lady and the Scamp

Lynette Birch has a simple philosophy. It hangs around her neck, a thin charm wrought in gold, a single letter connected to a twisted strand of rope. Y knot. This message pours from the heart and radiates from the smile of a lady who has every reason to...

5 Cups of Coffee

5 Cups of Coffee

Ferris Bueller said life goes by too fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you just might miss it. I wondered if maybe “once in a while” just isn’t enough. We put so much emphasis on weekends and annual vacations we drain the fun and...

Gay Marriage & Religious Freedom

Gay Marriage & Religious Freedom

Every since the SCOTUS agreed to hear arguments related to gay marriage, some very prominent religious leaders have stated that legally protected gay marriage could force churches to perform gay weddings. Those leaders are lying … and they know it. Now...

Outdoors Adventure in Appalachian Foothills

Outdoors Adventure in Appalachian Foothills

The forests, foothills, rivers and valleys that span the boundary between Georgia and Tennessee are some of the oldest “destinations” in the United States. Pioneers from the original 13 colonies were bushwhacking into this beautiful country over the “Far...

20 Years, 5 Kids, and a 10-Ton Tomato Box

20 Years, 5 Kids, and a 10-Ton Tomato Box

Bob Farewell made his first cross-country RV trip in 1967. “I grew up in Berkeley in the 1960’s. Frustrated with what the culture was doing around me, I decided to get away.” To make his escape, Bob bought a 1955 Metro step van and converted it into an RV....