Author and General Huggins
Central Pa. Chapter, 82nd Association
My wife, Sheila, and I recently took a road trip to North Carolina. We stopped to visit with my Brother and his family for a few days and had a wonderful time. Then we headed off to Fort Bragg, N.C. to attend All American Week. While we were there we did three book signings and met some really nice people. We went to the Division Review and watched excitedly as four sky divers parachuted down, one with a huge American flag and another with a POW/MIA flag. It’s an awesome site seeing the entire 82nd Abn. Division out on the parade field. From there we went to the Memorial Ceremony to honor the fallen troopers of the Division. It pulls at your heart strings watching each family lay a yellow rose at the base of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial.
We also attended the 82nd Association Social and were treated to the beautiful sounds of the 82nd Abn. Chorus. While there, I had a chance to speak with Major General James L. Huggins, commander of the 82nd Abn. Division.
We left for home on Sunday and stopped at Arlington National Cemetery to pay our respects to A.J. and all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We always look forward to seeing Arlington and meeting new families who are just going down that road of pain and sorrow. I try to offer them hope and comfort from someone who has been there before them.
Thank you for looking at my website, and keep checking in as I will try to keep it updated.
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.
When Joe isn’t working his part time job as a driver for the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, he spends much of his time golfing, making wine, playing with his grandchildren and volunteering his time. Joe is involved with the restoration of the Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s P-61 Black Widow Nightfighter, recoved many years ago from a mountain top in New Guinea.
T.A.P.S., Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, is a group the author is closely involved with. As a Peer Mentor, Joe is contacted by TAPS to make contact with other fathers who have recently lost a loved one in the military.
Joe is a life member in the 82nd Airborne Association, the 504th Paracute Infantry Association, and the 82nd Airborne Division Museum. He is a member of the National Rifle Association, the American Legion Post 0934, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, and the Reading Liederkranz.
The author and his wife, Sheila, live in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
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.