A Moving Memorial
I attended a Memorial for WWII Veteran on Fri. 3 January 2014. I had only met Him twice yet they were impressive meetings.
Samuel C. Hunter, Jr.; 1 Sep. 1919 - 26 Dec. 2013 at the age of 94. Born Crocket, TX.
I had only met Mr. Hunter twice, the first time was at a non-profit open house where He was being recognized as a benefactor. He was in his mid to late 80's standing stately yet humbly with a pleasant expression. The next time was at an annual banquet where He and Mrs. Hunter were the guests of honor, with the same pleasant features, soft spoken and gracious but now He walked slightly stooped with a cane, white hair and gray mustache.
That was when I first learned of Mr. Hunters service in the US Army air corps as one of the "Tuskegee Airman"! I had learned early on that He served in the Army during world war two in an all black unit. The president of the non-profit spoke after the meal about dollars and veterans served then introduced Mr. Hunter and ask Him to say something.
Mr. Hunter stood, stayed at his table politely thanked the president for the introduction and simply said He was honored to be part and just a little part in helping other veterans needing a little encouragement through a rough patch. And sat back down.
It was then that the president said; what Mr. Sam didn't say was that He was not only a fellow veteran but a U.S. Army Air Corp Pilot and flew B-25 Bombers. And one of the distinguished Tuskegee Airman!
His obituary read in part:
Sam served his country during World War II in the US Army Air Force. He graduated in the class of 44-J as a 2nd Lt. B-25 pilot and cadet captain of his class. He separated from the United States Army Air Force in November 1945 with a commercial pilot license and was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force Reserve as a Captain in September, 1959. He is a DOTA (Documented Original Tuskegee Airman) and a recipient, with other DOTAs, of the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded in 2007.
Sam assisted his father and then directed the operation of Hunter Mortuary and later was a funeral director affiliated with Evergreen Funeral Home. He was also the first black real estate broker in Colorado Springs, operating Hunter & Company Real Estate firm until 2000. He pioneered multi-family housing for minorities by developing the Payne Chapel Housing program and was chairman of the board when Prince Hall Housing was implemented.
Being active in business, civic and fraternal activities, Sam received numerous awards, acknowledgements and citations. Among them were the Colorado College Diversity Award as an advocate for equality in housing and contributions to the community, business, education and civic activities of Colorado Springs and the NAACP Living Legends Award for Civil Rights Activism in the Colorado Springs community. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/gazette/obituary.aspx?pid=168836036#sthash.7RlLaLYV.dpuf
I feel honored having met Sam, If only twice in my life I ate a meal and shuck his hand twice. How many people have had the privilege to have been introduced to, much less talk with a decorated Tuskegee Airman!
© R. C. B. Lewis; 2012-14 All rights reserved.
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