My wife, Sheila, and I just recently went on a road trip to visit my Brother and his family in Cary, North Carolina. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there with them. After spending a few days there we travelled to Ft. Bragg, N.C. to attend All American Week with the 82nd Airborne Division. It’s always a pleasure to return to my old alma mater. I did three book signings there and met many nice people. We went to the Division Review, which started with four sky divers coming down onto the parade field, one with a huge American flag, another with a POW/MIA flag. It is a sight to behold seeing the entire 82nd Abn. Division out on the parade field. Immediately after the review, we headed to the Division Museum for the Memorial Ceremony honoring the fallen troopers of the 82nd. The ceremony was very moving with each family placing a yellow rose at the base of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial.
We attended the Association Social and were treated to the wonderful sounds of the 82nd Abn. Chorus. While there I had the opportunity to speak with Major General James L. Huggins, commander of the 82nd Abn. Division.
We left Ft. Bragg on Sunday and on our way home we stopped at Arlington National Cemetery to pay our respects to A.J. and the rest of the fallen soldiers who are buried there. I always look forward to seeing Arlington and meeting new families who are just going through the pain of losing a loved one. I feel that in some small way I can offer them comfort and give them hope as one who has been down that long, sad road.
Well, next is the World War II Weekend at the Reading, Pa. airport on June 3rd, 4th, and 5th. I look forward to meeting many people there while I’m signing my son’s book. Thanks for looking at my website. I try to keep it updated for you so keep checking in.
I will be attending this year’s World War II Weekend at Reading’s Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. The dates are June 6th, 7th, and 8th. Look for me in the hanger where I will have my new book, “All American Hearts.” The introduction for the book is written by Lt. Colonel Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) Proceeds from the book will benefit our nation’s Wounded Warriors. I will also have my first book on hand, “My Hero, My Son.”
I will be attending this year’s Military History Weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia, in October. If you like toy soldiers, this is your venue. I will have copies of both of my books for purchase. Hope to see you there.
I’d like to officially announce the launch of my brand-new website, www.JosephBaddick.com. I’ll be using this domain to post information, discuss events, and write short articles. Stay tuned for updates!
On This past Memorial Day, Sheila and I paid a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. While we were there we did our traditional toasting to A.J. with a can or two of Yuengling Lager, (my son’s favorite choice of beverage). My very good friend and publicist, Sharon Wells-Wagner, was also there visiting her Mom & Dad’s final resting place in the columbarium. Soon after we got there, President Obama and the First Lady paid a visit to Section 60, along with Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense. The Obamas spoke to most of the adults who were there visiting their loved one’s gravesites, while Chuck Hagel paid attention to the younger crowd. My granddaughter, Andi Rose, was fortunate enough to receive a challenge coin from the Secretary of Defense. She was thrilled to get it.
It was a beautiful day and we spoke with some friends we had made over the years, and to new families who were just going through the initial pains of losing a loved one. I always try to instill in them that I am living proof that it will get better, with time, and to offer them some degree of comfort. There is no better place to be on Memorial Day than our Nation’s Capitol. That said, there is no better place to be, in Washington, on Memorial Day, than Arlington National Cemetery.