My friend, Al Meyer passed away recently. He was over at the V.A. Hospital in Raleigh. Sort of fitting to be there surrounded by veterans because Al was a patriot all the way. Al was in the Air Force and he had been shot down in a bombing raid in WW2. He was wounded and captured by the Germans and spent some time in a Prisoner of War camp. To me, Al was one of the last of that Great Generation that came just before me. They won their war. Al would have been 88 in just a couple of days and he was looking forward to slipping out and getting some good food for his birthday. Al hated hospital food. I wish I had brought a hot dog with everything on it along with me the last time we visited. We had talked about all of the times he visited schools and made presentations for young children about his experiences as a prisoner of war. Al knew a whole lot about hardship and suffering. He loved the kids and he loved to go to the school because the kids loved him right back. At 87+, to me, Al’s mind was as sharp as ever. Whenever I gave a speech to the Purple Heart or the other Veteran organizations I would look for Al in the audience because he was a solid rock out there that I could always rely for support and a smile. I’m going to miss Al. There aren’t a whole lot great men like him around any more.