Retired Brigadier General Carl Levi recently sent me a very special picture of three American Heroes. Charles Coolidge, Desmond Doss and Pat Brady all were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The men were present in 2003 for the Armed Forces Day Luncheon in Chattanooga. General Brady, a retired Major General and the most decorated solider of Viet Nam, was the guest speaker. While General Brady was here Mr.
Levi took Brady to see Coolidge at Chattanooga Printing - the business the Coolidge family has operated in Chattanooga for over a hundred years. All three men became very close friends comparing stories of their military years.
Chattanooga was the second city in the United States to start the Armed Forces Week Celebration after a proclamation by President Truman in 1949. The event's main sponsor was American Legion Post 14. The first luncheon was held at the Hotel Patten and attended by most Hamilton County and Chattanooga officials.
Charles and Frances Coolidge were among the founding members. Other organizers included newspaper man Colonel John Popham, service station operator Charles Jones and educator Edith Allen Atkins.
Desmond Doss died at the age of 87 in 2006. The movie “Hacksaw Ridge” was made about his life. Charles Coolidge passed away recently. A park and highway were named in Coolidge’s honor. Both men are interred at the VA National Cemetery in Chattanooga.
Pat Brady now resides in Texas and authored a book entitled “Dead Men Flying”.
The Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Museum opened downtown in March, 2020.
Mr. Levi said he is proud of this picture since it is signed by all three American heroes.