AMRAC's latest Book: "Distinguished Veterans Who Made a Difference"
By Dr. Jerry Pionk
As most of you long time members of AMRAC know, our Association selects an annual "Veteran of the Year". We also award on special occasions the "Distinguished Veteran's Award".
A couple of years ago. Lyle Hogue, Dan Hladky and I were discussing the need for a leadership book that encompassed the lives of normal people who were influenced by their time in the military. We eventually settled on the idea that our Veterans of the Year and Distinguished Veteran recipients jointly shared the distinction of common people, inspired by service in the military who made a difference in the lives of others in positive and meaningful ways. The veterans profiled in our book for the most part are not war heroes in the commonly perceived way. They are, however, heroes who came back as changed people and inspired others throughout their lives. Most continue to do so, although we have lost some of them, those still with us offer inspiration every day. It was important that we capture their stories while they were still able to tell them. Most of the stories are told in the words of the veteran or a close friend or family member. They are part of history and their stories were meant to be shared. Some stories are long, and some short, all are part of the fabric of America.
Each chapter of the book chronicles the life and times of one of the featured veterans, starting with country singer Boxcar Willie in 1997 up though our 2009 Veteran of the Year, John Mims, a survivor of the Bataan Death March in WWII. Their stories are often stirring accounts of their time in the service and how it shaped them for successful lives after the military. Most are like people you've met in your normal lives; quiet, unassuming people who inspire through selfless example. Their stories are the American story and we proudly share them with our members and hopefully future generations.
Any new lifetime member will receive a free book as long as supplies last. Current members may purchase a book for $10.00 (Make checks out to AMRAC sent to 12241 Tilney CT, Woodbridge, VA 22192). All proceeds will go to our charitable causes. We have ordered a limited run of the books, and will offer them until we run out, and then determine if a second printing is feasible. The veterans and the families of the featured veterans will receive free copies.