My dad, the Army, and Brace Clement
My dad served in World War II in Africa, Italy and France. Millions of Americans can say that; I hope the others are as proud of their dads as I am of mine. Dad was drafted into the Army after Pearl Harbor. His job was to type classified documents. Knowing how to type probably saved his life, because in northern Africa, he got called out of a lineup one day because he could type. The Army gave him an office job. Most of the rest of the people in line that day were dead within 30 days.
I also think of Brace Clement today on Memorial Day. He came to UIS as a transfer student, then had to spend a year in Iraq. He was in the Marines. I got acquainted with him because of his interest in state government and his involvement in student government. One day, as I recall it, some of his friends held a bake sale to raise money to send him a care package in Iraq. I bought something and picked up a magnetic yellow ribbon from the table and displayed it on my office door. I told lots of people, "That's for Brace. I'm going to show it to him someday." And I did. Brace came home and came back to UIS. He came to my office, I pointed to the ribbon, and I said, "That's for you." He got his degree in 2006 and is doing very well.