Warriors and Patriots Visit Air Base During Patriot Day Week

American300 Public Affairs   9/11/14

Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City LA -  As part of an ongoing effort to increase the resiliency of today’s Airmen, American300 returned to this Air Force Global Strike Command Base this week of observance and remembrance to work with Airmen.

Under the theme of ‘Service with Honor’, American300.org volunteers: Terry Schappert and Mykel Hawke, both combat veteran Green Berets along with Veteran’s Advocate Doctor Grace Galloway and her husband, decorated combat journalist Joe Galloway and retired Major General Ed Mechenbier, USAF a Vietnam P.O.W. shared personal stories of overcoming adversity and the importance of wingmen/battle buddies.

“I’ve spent more time with infantrymen in combat then most infantrymen,” chuckled Joe Galloway, a Bronze Star with Valor device recipient who has covered countless wars over the past  44 plus years.  “It all comes down to who’s on your left and on your right... or in my case a size 12 combat boot worn by a Sergeant Major.”  he added, taking a group of Airmen from the 2nd Bomb Wing, back in time to LZ XRAY just northwest of Plei Me in southern Vietnam, where Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley, uttered the famous words “You can’t take no pictures laying down there on the ground, Sonny.”  during the Battle of la Drang which was later made famous by the book he co-authored with Lt. General Hal Moore and Hollywood movie ‘We Were Soldiers’.  

For five days the group of Warriors and Patriots shared stories and advice with Airmen. Putting a real life face on so many of the learning modules surrounding comprehensive airmen fitness... i.e. resiliency training. 

From the jungles of Vietnam and South America to the high plans of northern Africa, and Sandstorms of Iraq (to mention only a few AOR's), the group reflected on the connectedness needed in battle and at home.  

“...what it really comes down to is the four letter word... LOVE,” reflected Master SergeantTerry Schappert, a career Special Forces soldier and current Team Master Sergeant with the 19th Special Forces Group out of Rhode Island, “I continue to do what I do because I love our country, our military and most importantly my Brothers... I just can’t give up on any one of them ever.” 

While each guest had a unique personal life story to share, collectively they exhibited commonality.  Themes of: Connectedness, Loyalty, Hope and Joy all the result of not giving up on your fellow American Warrior resonated throughout the group. 

“We came home despite the years of torture and confinement because we believed in each other... after the years started to slip by we collectively chose to break things down to one simple concept: ‘Return with Honor’ and thanks to great wingmen and battle buddies we did exactly that, says Major General Ed Mechenbier, adding “The military will always have manuals and modules on how to do things, but when it comes to resiliency training there’s no better procedures manual then fellow service members, family members and friends.  All we’re doing with these American300 Tours is reminding Troops that resiliency comes from within and most often times with a ton of help from a friend…" 

For more information on American300 Tours visit:  www.American300.org

For more information on our 'Service with Honor' guests involved with visiting Barksdale Air Force Base during Patriot Day week please utilize web search engines… their reference sites are simply countless. 

American300 is a NGO/AVO 501c3 organization with a mission of supporting the DoD and DoS with subject matter expert interactions.   No federal endorsement is ever implied or intended - American300.org 

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