In 2015 I read an article about a US Army soldier named Joshua Wheeler who was Killed In Action fighting ISIS.
Would anyone remember him, other than his family? He was a hero willing to give his life, and did so for our freedom and safety.
I had some time on my hands and good contacts. After years of full time work in Washington DC, I finally had time to pursue new endeavors.
I had an idea. Why not get some great minds to look at the timing for a Memorial for Veterans of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Was it time to start? Or Premature?
Talented people like Tom Menigan, the CEO of the American Pharmacist Association and John Weber, a highly successful K Street Lawyer, wounded in Vietnam, volunteered to help. Harry Robinson, former Chair of the Fine Arts Commission agreed to take part. Also joining was Teresa Schlacter, a respected military journalist and writer. I made contact with General Petraeus who thought it was time to study various sites.
In November 2015 it was time to create some attention. I wrote an article or two and had a press event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It worked.
I received plenty of attention including a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. He read about the effort in Army Times. He and another West Point Graduate, Andrew Brennan, were making plans for a National Memorial. I found them enough money to start work and received more funding from wealthy Vietnam Veterans. Everything worked as planned. We formed a team who was ready to begin.
The progress is good. The GWOT Memorial will be built eventually. It was important for me, or someone to jump start the endeavor. The veterans need recognition and a place to meet just as they do in Washington DC. This will be historic and will help heal the many wounds of our troops. I was honored to get it underway...