Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Maryland XIII

I returned, recently, to my elementary school to visit a memorial to one of my classmates. He was killed in 'Nam and the school has placed a plaque with his likeness in the foyer of the building. A scholarship fund was created in his name and for the last, nearly, 50 years, a student has benefited.

Actually, three of my schoolmates were lost in 'Nam and while I was there the Principal asked me to help her create a memorial for all three and I was thrilled to agree. We were all in "Nam at the same time, give or take a month or two. More on the new memorial at a later date.

The small plaques have the names of the 49 students that have been awarded the scholarship over the years

Frank "Trippy" Streeks was an all around good guy. He was smart, funny and a skilled athlete. After elementary school he went to a different High School than I did so I didn't see him every day like I did through the eight grade. Shortly after graduation we each went off to 'Nam, not really knowing the other was there. I came home. Trippy did not. I guess all of us that made it back wonder, often I suppose, why me, why did I make it back and Trippy (or someone else) did not?

This memorial was hard to see. I lost buddies in the war as we all did, but this was somehow different. I guess it is because I knew Trippy and the other guys for many years. We were kids together, and in many ways became men together and as always the question, why me?

I have been told it is OK to let you in on the fact that WJLA7 has been working on a piece about my A Means to Heal project. It is part of their ABC7 Stories...which is a new brand at WJLA-TV focusing on long form stories that are captivating, compelling stories that are more than the usual few second sound bites one sees on the regular news.

What happens is that as part of the "regular" newscasts a short segment of the longer story is shown and viewers are encouraged to go to WJLA's on line presence to watch the whole segment. The A Means to Heal story is currently in the editing stages and will be available before the end of the month. I will, certainly, keep you posted about that. The process of making this has been fascinating and I am extremely honored to have been part of the effort. I am hopeful that some folks will see it and then visit A Means to Heal, for me, it's all about getting the word out, especially to vets.

In the meantime, here is the URL to their site if you want to check out some of these "long form" stories.

Be sure to check out Left Behind, a great documentary on items left behind at The Wall. It is fascinating and if you are a vet, perhaps healing, too.

This has been a really exciting opportunity for me to work with Jay Korff and Kevin Drennen from WJLA and I cannot thank them enough for their interest, understanding, and patience, not to mention their professionalism and expertise in seeing this through. We all, especially Jay and Kevin, spent a lot of hours putting this together. I will let you know when it is available and I hope you enjoy it.

Next time, on the 23rd, we will venture back to Massachusetts, so, please join me there, as always, at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from Maryland, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.


  1. I remember that plaque hanging in the school when I was there. I never knew him, but we all knew him through the plaque and the award! Wish I could read the names on the small plaques - I don't remember who won from my year!

  2. Mike we have been trying to reach you so I hope this finds you well. This was a fabulous story and we at St Johns all loved it.
    We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Franks Award this spring (May 20th )and we would love for you to present the Trippy Award to this years recipient on May 20th. If you are available. Please email and let us know if you would like to participate. It would be our honor to have you at this special event. Thanks St Johns CYO President