Page 8 - Senior Link Magazine Fall 2020- Online Magazine
P. 8


                                                     A Letter from U.S. Rep.

                                                     Mac Thornberry

                                                     (TEXAS DISTRICT 13)

                                                     single veteran is worthy of   We are also reminded that service
                                                     our gratitude and honor.     comes in many forms.  Darrell
                                                     And we have some truly       Naylor (USA) was severely injured
                                                     remarkable Panhandle         in Vietnam in 1967 and never fully
                                                     profiles in courage.         regained consciousness after an
                                                                                  initial surgery.  His parents, Opal
                                                     For example, this year       and Dick Naylor, cared for their
                                                     marks the 75th anniversary   son at home for 38 years and 9
                                                     of the attack on the USS     months.  I had the privilege of
                                                     Indianapolis.  Cleatus Lebow   knowing them and was able to
                                                     (USN) from Memphis,          be with the Naylor family when
                                                     Texas, is one of the eight   Darrell's name was added to the
                                                     surviving members of that    Vietnam Wall.
                                                     attack on July 30, 1945.  As
                                                     he describes hanging on      Those currently serving in the
                                                     to a life raft and surviving   military today are our veterans
                                                     five days at sea, his courage   of tomorrow.  It is my highest
                                                     continues to inspire.        honor to work on their behalf as
                                                                                  a member of the House Armed
                                                     Lance Corporal Thomas E.     Services Committee, where our job
                                                     Creek (USMC) was raised      is to ensure that they have all of the
                                                     in Amarillo.  While serving   support, the best training, the most
                                                     in Vietnam, Creek’s squad    modern equipment our nation can
                                                     was ambushed.  He jumped     provide.
                                                     on top of a grenade, taking
               always look forward to                the full force of the blast   All of us have a duty to remember
               welcoming Honor Flights from    and saving the lives of his fellow   our veterans and their service and
            I our area to Washington D.C.      Marines.  Creek was posthumously   to continue to tell their stories
            My wife, Sally, my staff, and I    awarded the Medal of Honor for     to future generations.  I am very
            are lifted up by our veterans and   his courage and sacrifice.  It is   grateful for the Texas Panhandle
            reminded of the honorable service   fitting that our VA hospital bears   War Memorial and its mission “to
            to our country by many Panhandle   his name.                          honor the men and women who
            citizens.  I am especially glad to                                    have given us our freedom and to
            be able to express gratitude to our   I think of other brave Gold Star   keep history alive.”
            Vietnam veterans and give them     Families who lost a loved one
            the proper “Welcome Home” that     in service to our country more     As we remember and honor and
            too many never received after the   recently.  The fallen include some   give thanks for those who have
            war.                               remarkable young people such       protected our freedom, may we
                                               as Captain Eric Das (USAF), First   always strive to be worthy of their
            Veterans from our area span        Lieutenant Benjamin Britt (USA),   sacrifice.
            generations and many conflicts,    and Sergeant Cameron Meddock
            but each of them left the comfort of   (USA) – just some of the Panhandle
            our communities to serve a cause   citizens who sacrificed everything
            greater than themselves. Every     to protect us against the terrorist

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