Lt. Col. Oliver North talks military family sacrifice in Wichita

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Many Kansans know the sacrifices made by families left at home while their loved ones are serving overseas in the military.

However, Lt. Col. Oliver North said in Wichita Wednesday not enough Americans know those stories of sacrifice. That, he said, is the reason behind the book he was in town to promote.

"It's kind of a wake-up call, I hope, for America because most Americans don't know the name of anybody serving today," North said.

That, he said, makes it hard to understand the often-overlooked sacrifices made by military families when their loved ones deploy and when they return home. Stories of those sacrifices are told in his latest book, American Heroes: On the Homefront.

"This is a get-acquainted for the American people about those who make enormous sacrifices for all of us," North said.

People like Helen Orr are already acquainted with those sacrifices. Her husband, father, brother and nephew have all served in the military.

"I think there are not enough people now who have that impact them personally, so to have the whole story told, I think, is really important," Orr said.

Sacrifice -- and worry -- were something Bill Holdeman's family knew well during World War II.

"I had six brothers," the 90-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran said. "Three of us were in the Marine Corps and three of them in the Army."

North said today's military members and their families are especially selfless because they -- like the active-duty Airmen from McConnell Air Force Base he met with before the book-signing -- volunteered for service.

"Those youngsters volunteered to serve knowing that they would go to war if their country needed them to," North said. "So, I look at that and see there's a direct lineage all the way back to the formation of this republic of citizen soldiers."

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