Spec. 4 James L. Steveson - Vietnam Era Veteran

The week before his wedding on June 11, 1966, Jim received his draft notice. He and his bride, Mary Harner, had a month to enjoy married life before Jim entered basic training and then reported to Germany for his two years of service. In the summer of 1967 Jim had one month of leave and proudly donned his dress greens to return to Mary through Detroit. Unfortunately, the race riot that erupted in Detroit that hot summer was accompanied by political unrest about our involvement in the Vietnam War. Having responded honorably to the call of their government, service members were inexplicably targeted by protestors as the most evident symbol of the war. Jim stepped off the plane in Detroit only to be met by police who hurried him into a rest room to change into civilian clothes so that he would be safe. The highly anticipated reunion with Mary had been tainted.

JoAnne P. Miller