Just got the book. Is it right that Barry was mentioned in this book?
(thanks for being part of a Memorial Miracle for me Barbara!
Ron... Alexander: Yes, I am reading it now. He is in the back table of contents, but have not found him in text yet. Larry told me that there is another book about Barry's death that also claimed that the officer that sent him out with only two weeks left should have been court-martialed. He is going to find that book for me in his library. Thanks Barbara Cooper Nicholson. If you give me way to get in touch with Harry, I will be glad to mentor him in some family history.
I am driving to Savannah tomorrow morning to give a speech and do a book signing for the MOAA chapter there. I will contact you next week and buy you lunch too.
Needless to say, meeting my dear friend Barry’s brother after 47 years is a wonderful miracle. I am so glad to have run in to you and that there is someone I can tell about Barry’s and my friendship and us serving in the Army together. I had been looking for you (his family) for nearly five decades ----- and to think I found you right here in Charleston!!!! A real miracle indeed.
I meet Barry at Fort Jackson and we went through the in processing and swearing in together. We had pizza and beer together the first day we meet and we remained friends through basic training together at Fort Polk, LA and flight training together at Fort Wolters, TX. I do not have to tell you that Barry was a terrific young man, darn good pilot, talented officer, good soldier, and liked by all of his soldier buddies. I was heartbroken (I found out about four months later while recovering from my own wounds) to hear that Barry had been killed with only two weeks left in Vietnam. Of course he should not have been flying then as it was SOP in all units to stop crew members from flying at least two weeks form their return to the US date ---as anyone killed or seriously wounded who was short was a terrible morale problem for all the friends and comrades still in country. The office who ordered him to fly that last mission should have been court martialed in my opinion.
I am sure Barry is very proud of you for remembering him and loving him --- and not letting his righteous life go unremembered. I want to buy you lunch soon and find out more about your family and tell you the little I can about the Barry I knew and remember. I know your parents are with him and they all are looking down on you with pride and love.
Thank you for volunteering at the RHJ VA Med Center and for supporting our troops, veterans, their families, and our great nation.
Sincerely and respectfully,
LTC (Retired) W. Larry Dandridge
· Fisher House Charleston Fund Raising Committee Volunteer Member;
· RHJ VA Medical Center Volunteer Patient & Employment Assistance Adviser, Customer Service Council Member, and Patient & Family Centered Care (PFCC) Committee Member & PFCC Instructor, and Strategic Planning Committee Member;
· State of SC, VA, and American Legion Trained Volunteer Veterans Service Officer;
· US Army Combat Related Service Compensation Volunteer Ambassador (in training);
· AUSA Charleston, SC Veteran Affairs Volunteer; and
· Chief Operating Manager, Editor, Writer, and Author with Tigers, Vikings,