A few weeks ago I viewed a nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy on the net struggle time after time to stand at the couch in his home as The National Anthem was resounding on his TV at the start of a Detroit Tigers baseball game. I was moved to tears as a Viet Nam era vet watching this brave little boy rise and fall as he repeatedly failed to do what grown athletes can do so easily,but chose not to do so.
I did a little searching, and reached the dispatcher at The Chesterfield Township Police Department in Chesterfield, Michigan, and found that they had previously recognized "Logan" for his moving tribute. I then proceeded to order and assemble a flying officers jacket,and cap, as an exact copy of what our B-47 pilots and crew wore in the 340th Bomb Wing.
It displayed The SAC patch on one side, The 340th Bomb Wing on the other, with his name tag as "Capt. Logan Wilson, USAF, with pilots wings just above, and his bright silver rank on the shoulders and cap.
I asked the police department there if they would get this tribute to little Logan, and they agreed to do so. When they received it, however, they were so moved at the detail, that their captain asked if I could come to Michigan for a special ceremony, and present the gifts to Logan in person on Saturday the 8th of September.
My wife and I were honored, and flew to Detroit this weekend to participate in the program. They called "Logan" to the front of the room, and as his dad helped him up out of his wheel chair, he clung to his dad, and they slowly moved toward the podium. When I presented Logan with his flight crew jacket and cap, and his dad helped him put them on, Logan began to smile bigger than the moon and turned to look up at his dad as the cap was placed on his head. He began hugging and trying to kiss my cheek afterwards, and all the while was trying to say thank you.
The final moving gesture was watching him struggle to raise his left hand in a salute (because his right one is so twisted and curled). I returned his salute, and will never forget this little boy, and his personal love for our country, our Anthem and our Flag.
Oh if we could all simply put our differences aside for just a moment like little Logan did, and join together for that fleeting moment when the words of our Anthem remind us all of what generations of men and women have sacrificed, bled and even died for, to preserve for our wonderful country, warts and all. Ask Logan, and like his mother who photographed his act of patriotism said " Logan, are you standing for the flag?" He simply said "Yes", ever so slowly and with total concentration.
340th Bomb Wing
Strategic Air Command Viet Nam Era