Tag Archives: Vietnam

Remembering Phyllis Galanti on her birthday … quiet POW crusader

[Today would have been Richmonder Phyllis Galanti’s 75th birthday. This gallant woman who passed away in April of 2014 was remembered today by her husband, Paul, in a loving tribute on his Facebook page.  I decided to rerun this post written when learning of her death. At the time, Commander Galanti left a comment that read:

“Lynn, Thank you for this blog post. I think it is the finest of many articles about my wife, Phyllis. Her memorial service on April 29, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church in Richmond was the largest such gathering I’ve seen in Richmond. And that was despite the deluge that flooded the city and environs. Phyllis would have been gratified to have been there. She will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. – Paul Galanti, Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)”]

Paul Galanti 1

“Lonely the days and nights, my love, that we have been apart. It seems almost forever since I held you to my heart. The moments are as restless as the waves that move the sea, but every second means a step nearer, my love, to thee.”
—POW Paul Galanti’s words to wife Phyllis after his release as a POW during theVietnam War, a poem he had shared with her before they married.

Phyllis Galanti burst onto the world stage when her husband, Paul Galanti, a Navy fighter pilot shot down over Hanoi in 1966, became a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. She had never wanted to be in the spotlight, this quiet and unassuming lady, but in 1971, five years after her husband’s capture and imprisonment at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” she took her battle to have him released to the people of Virginia, America, and the world, and became a national celebrity.

Sometimes the quiet reluctant ones are the chosen leaders. That was Phyllis Galanti.

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Veterans Day is every day for Pham family

Tony PhamBy Tony Pham
General Counsel, Richmond Sheriff’s Department

Maybe it’s personal for me. My life has been shaped by the sacrifices of veterans who picked up arms and gave of themselves. From our entry to this great nation 40 years ago to becoming citizens 30 years ago, these opportunities were secured by men and women in our armed forces who fought for our country.

Maybe it’s the 58,000 who did not come home or the many others who went missing in action or how our veterans were treated when they did come home, all while I enjoy freedom that makes this personal for me. Maybe it’s the understanding that these brave men and women leave their families to fight so we can enjoy ours.

Ronald Reagan once said that “freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” I, for one, am grateful we have our veterans fighting for our nation’s freedom so we don’t have to one day tell our kids what it is like to live in the United States.

So to all of my veterans, today and every day, is your day. The Pham Phamily sincerely appreciates each of you. Without you, there would be no us. I cannot speak for others, but Veterans Day is everyday for us.

‪#‎Leadership‬‪#‎Commitment‬‪#‎Courage‬


Tony Pham, a General Counsel for the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office and the GOP nominee for the Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, lives with his family in Henrico, Virginia. Born in South Vietnam, he and his family immigrated to the United States at the fall of Saigon in 1975, and became American citizens in 1985. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he earned his J.D. from the University of Richmond’s School of Law. In 1999, Mr. Pham was initiated into the Upsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, a historically African American fraternity founded on the campus of Howard University.  He was named as one of Style Weekly Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” and Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s “Leaders in the Law” for his work in criminal law and the Asian community.

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Veterans Day 2015 … their service and sacrifice protect our freedom

By Lynn R. Mitchell

“For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”

Veterans Day 2015. Today we honor those who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedom.

At LynnRMitchell.com, we honor two of our own who are veterans and thank them for their dedication to God and country. Marine veteran Daniel Cortez is a Vietnam vet who was wounded in 1970 and was decorated for extraordinary heroism in combat, and managing editor Kurt Michael is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran.

My husband, a Southeast Asia-Vietnam era Air Force veteran, is flying American flags in front of our home along with the POW-MIA flag, a reminder of those who did not come back. My parents are visiting this week so we have a World War II Navy veteran in the house; my late father was also a World War II Navy vet. Brother-in-law Jon served in the Army as well as cousin John, and another cousin Jim served in the reserves.

Grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors … heroes surround us.

As then-Governor Bob McDonnell, himself a U.S. Army veteran, noted in 2012, “The sacrifice of these heroes and their families makes it possible for us to continue to live and to freely pursue our dreams here in the greatest nation this world has ever known. Freedom is not free. Our brave veterans remind us of that every day. … I urge all Virginians to once again renew our pledge to all of those who are serving and have served: an eternally grateful Commonwealth and country stand forever ready to serve you. … We can’t just stop and recognize our heroes on one day. We must recognize them, serve them, and thank them every day. Our liberty depends upon their sacrifice.”

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Kids get time-out for conduct Trump thinks will win him the White House

Time out chairBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Like a petulant spoiled child who expects to constantly be in the spotlight, Donald Trump has gotten on this mom’s last nerve. After my many years of working with children, he is a reminder that there is always that one.

There is always the kid who disrupts the class, bullies the others, and dominates on the playground with his fist and name-calling. For those children who misbehave, there is the time-out chair — that isolated corner where wayward children sit and think about what they have done.

If Donald Trump were a child, he would have been put in the time-out chair.

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Tony Pham announces candidacy for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney race

Tony Pham

Tony Pham

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Attorney Tony Pham announced in a Monday press release that he will run for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney:

“Henrico County is where we began our journey as Americans,” said Tony Pham. “This is where I started my own family. I am excited to represent the County I love and restore leadership, trust, and transparency to an office that has immense authority over our lives.”

The Pham family immigrated to the United States in April 1975, as the Vietnam War came to a close. They left behind everything they had and everyone they knew, in search of freedom and hope.
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National Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Day

POW-MIABy Lynn R. Mitchell

Today is National Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Day. Some may wonder why this day is needed. Here are some statistics (see National POW/Missing Recognition Day in the United States):

There are 1,741 American personnel listed by the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, as of April 2009. The number of United States personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 841. About 90 percent of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control, according to the National League of Families website (cited in the United States Army website).
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Phyllis Galanti will be laid to rest today in Arlington Cemetery

Phyllis Galanti, wife of Paul Galanti, Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired), will be buried at 1:00 p.m. today at Arlington National Cemetery. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Galanti family as they lay their loved ones to rest. Below is my post about Mrs. Galanti when she passed away in April….

 

Paul Galanti 1Richmonder Phyllis Galanti … quiet POW crusader passes away, leaves legacy
By Lynn R. Mitchell

“Lonely the days and nights, my love, that we have been apart. It seems almost forever since I held you to my heart. The moments are as restless as the waves that move the sea, but every second means a step nearer, my love, to thee.”

— POW Paul Galanti’s words to wife Phyllis after his release as a POW during Vietnam War, a poem he had shared with her before they married

Phyllis Galanti burst onto the world stage when her husband, Paul Galanti, a Navy fighter pilot shot down over Hanoi in 1966, became a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. She had never wanted to be in the spotlight, this quiet and unassuming lady, but in 1971, five years after her husband’s capture and imprisonment at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” she took her battle to have him released to the people of Virginia, America, and the world, and became a national celebrity.

Continue reading

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Passings: Honoring a Vietnam veteran

By Lynn R. Mitchell

American flag half staff

It’s a warm summer morning in Augusta County under mostly cloudy skies with thunderstorms in the forecast and hot temperatures on tap again as family and friends plan to gather later today to say goodbye to my across-the-street neighbor, Ralph Dameron, of Augusta County. His service as a teenager who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in the 1960s as a “tunnel rat” will be forefront at the funeral that will take place in a small, historic church in the pastoral Shenandoah Valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

Twenty-one American flags will wave in the breeze as Patriotic Guard Riders arrive at the church. A military honor guard will attend, and a horse-drawn caisson will wait to carry the flag-draped casket to the nearby grave site. Military veterans will be there to pay their respects including other Vietnam vets riding Harleys.

Another who served time in Vietnam is Daniel Cortez, U.S. Marine veteran who lives in Northern Virginia and is a contributing writer to LynnRMitchell.com. He left home at 5:00 a.m. today to make the trek to Augusta County and, even though he didn’t personally know Ralph, he wanted to pay his respects to a fellow Vietnam vet. The brotherhood is tight.

Ralph served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was there during the 1968 Tet Offensive. He was injured seven times, earned three Purple Hearts, and carried shrapnel in his body until the day he died. Ralph’s wife has asked that I take photos of today’s ceremonies. I will do my best to honor someone I called neighbor but also someone who answered the call to duty for America.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
–Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

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