Director of The Board,
“When America goes to War…
Our Families go to War”
"It is an honor to be President of Warriors And Caregivers United (WACU). I was raised in Belleville, Michigan. I was drafted and served as a radio operator, with the 1st Air Cavalry Division, in Vietnam from 1966-67. While working at Ford Motor Company, I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, from Eastern Michigan University. In 1997, I retired from the Ford Motor Company.
After being actively involved with the, nationally recognized, Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 310 for almost thirty years, I have redirected some of my focus. For 7 years, I served as Vice President of the national non-profit, Operation Never Forgotten (ONF). In April 2015, I retired from ONF to focus my efforts more in Michigan on Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). The desire to be involved with Warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is my way of living the motto of VVA, “Never Again Will One Generation Of Veterans Abandon Another.”
Although without PTS, the driving force within me seems to be survivor's guilt. As a battalion radio operator, I needed to know what was going on with the rifle companies any time I was on the radio. The grunts dealt with the enemy. I was support for the grunts, and that is what I seem to be doing today too. Whatever it is, it has bothered me over the years to hear of situations where a Warrior found it easier to leave this life by his or her own hand, while I did nothing.
Since my wife of 31 years, Jane, and I are financially stable after retirement, we do not need to do things for monetary benefit. In fact, when we fund-raise, we usually cover the administrative costs. For instance, each year, for our VVA Chapter Christmas Program fundraising, we cover the administrative costs for our work at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center.
My desire, is to do something to address suicide among local Warriors. My fundraising and organizing experience, led me to consider starting the Warriors And Caregivers United 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Among our experienced cadre of Vietnam Veteran mentors, we have a goal; if we can save one, it is worth everything we put into WACU. Our vision is to develop an organization that focuses on helping PTS Warriors and their Caregivers move forward toward lives of normalcy."