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the Vietcong. He spent two months in the hospital at Puinhon, Vietnam and still has remnants of the shrapnel to this day. The second time he was shot down he spent five months at the same hospital in Puinhon, Vietnam. The pilot, flying the helicopter behind him, on the same mission, was shot and killed in the air; his co-pilot took over and flew the helicopter back to their base. After his recovery, John was sent to Germany, patrolling the German Border, still flying helicopters but in a non-combat zone. In 1971 he was sent back to New York and was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Leonard wood, Missouri. John was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 03.
While in Vietnam, he was exposed to “Agent Orange.” He retired from the military in 1988 with 22 1⁄2 years of service. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer. The military had to spray a lot of Agent Orange in Vietnam, in caves and wooded areas where the Vietcong would hide. Due to his exposure to this highly toxic chemical, John has medical issues to this day because of Agent Orange. After retirement he wanted to live in a warmer climate; he and his wife decided to settle in San Antonio, also three of his six children live in San Antonio and he is close to them. “Looking back at my military career Ilovedit;itwasaveryrewardingexperience.” After his military service John had the opportunity to work in the Medical Center as a Med Evac pilot but decided against it. He did however take a job as a Via Bus Driver
James “Jim” B Meredith Served In The Texas National Guard & Army
im Meredith was born in 1929, the year before the Depression really got going. Jim’s family was in the
 y Shilrley Swift
  and retired from that job after 20 years. Today, John is enjoying his retirement and is proud to have served his country, a true American Hero.
Footnote: John was awarded two Purple Heart Medals for his service to our country. President Nixon presented them to him and told John how honored he was to meet a true American Patriot.
farming business, and they lived in Coolidge Texas, near Waco, but farmed in Navarro County, close to Houston. Jim recalled that “Coolidge was a pretty prosperous town during the depression years.” “Everybody talked about the hard times but some of the best farmland in the country was right around Coolidge, especially with cotton farming.” Therewerethreeginsinthetown that ran day and night during the ginning season. “Back in those days we got what they called cotton stamps.” It was just like a postage stamp. One stamp was worth 50 cents.” As the youngest of 10 children, Jim stayed busy with chores at the farm.
In 1948, Jim joined the Texas National Guard and took his basic training at Camp Jaffe, Arkansas. From there, he went to Infantry Weapons School in Aberdeen, Maryland for three months. By this time, Jim had one year at Westminster College, and went on to Sam Houston State University for three years majoring in Agriculture Education.
In 1950, he was called to active duty and spent three months on active duty at Camp Jaffe, Fort Smith, Arkansas. He also attended OCS in May 1951 and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant and spent six months at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In July of 1953, South Korea was at war with North Korea and Jim was called back
to duty by the Army. He was Company Commander, in charge of Heavy Weapons and was sent to Sandong, South Korea. He spent a year there before returning to the states. Jim is very proud of receiving “Soldier of the Year” recognition for being instrumental in having a 50-bed hospital built in northern Wyoming. The Governor congratulated him for his dedication and hard work. Jim had 20 years of service and retired in 1968.
Jim was married 60 years. His wife passed away in 2018. She was Vice President of an oil company. They had two children that he is very proud of, a son and daughter who in turn are very proud of their father and his service to our country.
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  The Pink Berets: Healing Invisible Wounds
By Alissa Reinhard
After eight years of service in the United States Navy, Stephanie Gattas returned to San Antonio, where she was born and raised, feeling lost and alone. She was struggling with her mental health and the transition out of military life. And although San Antonio was home, it didn’t feel like home.
“My family kept telling me that I was different, that I had changed,” said Gattas. “But it’s hard to see yourself as others see you, it’s like a defense mechanism. I was struggling. I found myself moving around, trying to navigate this new space, my new life. And in my mind, no one really cared.”
Gattas began searching for help, but she couldn’t find any local resources for women Veterans.
“Everything I found was more geared toward addressing PTSD in men or to help cover expenses,” Gattas explained. “There was nothing out there addressing military sexual trauma for women, nothing to address my health care needs as a woman, or to support me as a daughter, sister, and a woman Veteran.”
As Gattas kept searching, she began to slowly build a network of her own of resources and professionals that could help women like herself. In 2014, she founded
Pink Berets - continued on page 9 July 2021

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