They served, they fought, they won. And today they finally got some recognition – along with all the men and women who put their lives on the line to preserve the American way of life by serving our country in the armed forces. Today was Veterans’ Day and according to tradition, it was observed on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m. President Woodrow Wilson proposed the holiday in 1918 and Congress set it it stone in 1926. It became a national holiday in 1938.
Dr. Gordon Hazard and Dr. Tom Braddock were selected as Veterans of the Year for West Point, MS. during a celebration today in West Point. Gordon and Sara Hazard were up front with all their children along with his best friend Tom Braddock and family.
Proud? Oh, yeah. I am lucky enough to call them both “Big Daddy.” And I was also grateful to be able to offer “The Pledge of Allegiance” which I’d almost forgotten because we don’t say it enough!
Randy Jones, the city administrator presented awards to both men to a packed crown in City Hall. Dr. Braddock was commander of a LST – Landing Ship Tank 502 in the South Pacific. He was involved in transporting more than 500 Japanese prisoners from the island of Truk to Yokohoma, Japan.
Dr. Hazard was a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Army Infantry, engaged in active combat in four campaigns: Northern France, Alsace-Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. Among his decorations are the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Bronze Star.
Tom and Gordon share the same birthday although Tom can’t avoid mentioning that Gordon is one year older (86). They have celebrated their birthdays together for as long as I can remember. And they pick at each other endlessly. Unfortunately, Tom is an Ole Miss Rebel and Gordon is a Mississippi State Bulldog. That is their only sticking point. Somehow, they’ve managed to live with their differences. What a pair. What a wonderful pair.