At 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918 – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – World War I drew to a hard-won close.
As soldiers cheered and bells rang out across continental Europe, Americans came together to celebrate a day of peace … and to recognize the service of the brave men and women who made it possible. In the years since, we’ve come to honor the anniversary of that historic event as Veterans Day.
At The Mayflower, we’re proud to be home to more than 50 veterans … and today, we’re spotlighting just a few:
- Maj. Gen. John C. Raaen (ret. U.S. Army). At the age of 22, Captain John C. Raaen was one of more than 150,000 Allied soldiers who invaded a 50-mile stretch of coastline in Normandy, France on D-Day. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Silver Star, the military’s third-highest honor for heroism in combat. However, that was just the beginning of his 36-year military career. Raaen also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and he was promoted to the rank of Major General before retiring in 1979. In that time, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Bronze Star.
- Maj. Radford “Rad” Reams (ret. U.S. Marine Corps). After earning a Naval ROTC scholarship to Vanderbilt University, Rad Reams graduated in 1957 with a degree in electrical engineering and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent six months training at Quantico, VA, and then served in the Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion at 29 Palms, CA for two and a half years. But Reams didn’t slow down: He joined the Marine reserves and earned his law degree at night, while also working as a full-time engineer at GE. After graduating in 1964, he was transferred to Louisville, where he was admitted to the Kentucky bar and eventually rose to the rank of captain.
- Maj. Larry Ogle (ret. U.S. Air Force). Miami native Larry Ogle joined the U.S. Air Force fresh out of college, marking the start of 20 years of service. Much of his career was spent as a pilot. He flew over 5,000 hours in all, including 100 flights in Vietnam. In Thailand and the Philippines, he flew both fighter jets and tankers that refueled jets in midair. After returning to duty on solid ground, Ogle went on to conclude his career at the Pentagon, where he served as a public affairs specialist who set up briefings for the president.
Don’t forget to honor America’s veterans Thursday! There are plenty of ways to say thank you to the men and women who served the country: observe a moment of silence at 11 a.m.; tune into a virtual Veterans Day ceremony online; or donate to a charity that offers counseling, support, employment assistance or other services to veterans. (You can find a list of the highest-rated nonprofits on Charity Navigator.)
To read more stories about the people who call The Mayflower home, check out past issues of our Navigator magazine. For more information about our community, send us a message, or give us a call at 407-672-1620.