DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — In this week’s What’s Good in the Neighborhood, we spend a day with the only living Army Vietnam Veteran to hold both the Medal of Honor as well as the Distinguished Service Cross.
Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady began his military career in 1959. During that time, he served two tours in Vietnam, flew over 2,500 combat missions, and rescued over 5,000 wounded people.
For the past few days, Brady traveled around the Wiregrass in order to spread a message of remembrance and patriotism.
“That is what veterans would like for us to honor … not just them, but the values for which they gave so much in body and soul,” he said.
A pioneer of Army Aviation Patient Rescue, Brady developed flight rescue strategies to help save lives despite enemy fire and nearly impossible weather conditions. Now, he travels across the country teaching America’s youth.
“All living recipients of the Medal of Honor developed a character development program,” he explained. “We use that program to pass on to young people the importance of the things we think about.”
Courage, patriotism, sacrifice, and the definition of a hero lies at the heart of the general’s message.
“The future of America depends on whether or not we develop patriots,” Brady said. “If we don’t grow patriots in schools like this, there’s no hope for America. You’ve got to develop young people who love their country and who will support and defend their country.”
For several students, the visit increased their appreciation for veterans.
“I have several people in my family in the military so I have always had an extreme appreciation for our veterans and our service men and women,” Providence Christian Student Anna Baldwin said. “It just made me more grateful to really know what they go through and do.”
Brady also visited active duty military personnel and was able to see his legacy carry on.
“Patient focus first, not hesitating ever,” Lt. Col. Seth Swartz said. “The courage comes from him and his story for a lot of us. It’s just a privilege and an honor to meet him.”
For Gen. Brady, the visits allowed him to continue living his life while potentially saving others.
“They can be as successful as they have the courage to be,” Brady said. “It’s the one way in which we are all born equal. You can have all the courage you want, you can’t use it up, but the source of courage is faith.”
In honor of Gen. Patrick Brady and all of America’s veterans, thank you for your service. It will always be what’s good in the neighborhood.