Honoring those who defend our freedoms
As Election Day approaches, it’s an appropriate time to think about those who have done more than their part to protect the freedoms we enjoy, and often take for granted.
So in advance of Veterans Day, the Maryland Independent is proud to publish a special bonus edition, 100 percent dedicated to some of our local military personnel and their stories. This commemorative edition will be delivered to all Independent subscribers tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 5, as part of their current subscription. Copies will also be available at all our regular newsstand locations throughout Charles County.
“Veterans Day is one of those days every year that makes me pause for a moment to think about the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line for me and for our country,” said David Fike, president of APG Media of Chesapeake. “This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a veteran for their ser vice.”
And since we’re all turning our clocks back this weekend for the start of Eastern Standard Time, maybe a good way to spend that extra hour is by sitting back and taking a look at this special bonus edition.
Along with other features, you will find stories about:
• Richard “Ace” Stutz, who served in an Air Force explosive ordnance unit in Vietnam. Noting that returning servicemen weren’t always welcomed home warmly during that turbulent time, Stutz said he changed out of his
military uniform in an airport bathroom in Seattle to blend in. Years later, he now works at the Maryland Veterans Memorial Museum in Newburg, performing duties he said are “therapeutic.”
• Norm Saunders, who was a “point man” in his Army infantry unit in Viet- nam. Such a soldier walked a few feet in front of his unit checking for land mines, so if he had stepped on one, his comrades would at least have been spared. Saunders survived that ordeal, although he was shot once while on duty.
• George Vougioukles, a 67-yearold Vietnam vet, who is struggling in southern Calvert to find steady housing. He is one of nearly 48,000 homeless veterans in the United States.
• Ernest C. Friess, a 22-year-old first lieutenant from Oakley in the 7th District who was piloting a B-24 Liberator bomber before he was lost over the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy on Nov. 11, 1944 (on what was then called Armistice Day).
This Veterans Day edition is another part of our Tributes Program launched in 2014 by APG Media of Chesapeake to showcase, honor and thank all those who serve our country. We will be donating proceeds from every copy of this special publication purchased at the newsstand to the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.
“We put our donations to good use, especially for veterans who do not have the income to purchase eyeglasses, dentures and dental work, and for fun things like outings and activities,” said Sharon Mattia, executive director of the veterans home. “The veterans we care for at Charlotte Hall gave years — and some, decades — of their lives to make certain the American way endures. Thank you to all who served in the name of freedom.” Remembering and recognizing
shouldn’t be a once-a-year-thing. What these local heroes and many others did for our country is amazing, and
we salute and thank each of them for their service to our nation. We ask you to join us in this celebration, and we thank you in advance if you decide to assist in our efforts by picking up a copy of this commemorative edition.