People Not in the Headlines


The ongoing financial crisis in this country has a cast of evil characters. These crooked greedy titans are taking center stage and stealing the scene from the rest of the cast. The rest of the cast is made up of the countless people quietly working to help others and make this a better place to live. These are the unsung heroes of our country. These are not the characters of high drama and controversy. Those same evil doers, who steal the scene from the players doing their bit, are grabbing the headlines and getting face time on the news. Today, I did my small part to credit one player in the rest of the cast. Below is my letter to the editor which appeared in today’s paper in my town.


Some people have a hard time calling it quits. I recently attended a celebration with my fellow National Infantry Museum volunteers for one of our own. For our regular visitors who have been asking where the short guy is, he has retired—again– at age 86.


Col Silas Crase (Ret), aka Shorty, personifies service. As a 17 year old he joined the army to serve his country. While he was serving in WW11 as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 his plane was shot down. Three men survived by parachuting into eastern Germany where they managed to avoid the German army and make it as far as Czechoslovakia. While there, he found a way to serve by helping the Czech underground hide Jewish people from the German army. Upon his return home from the war he put himself through school and became a dentist. Once again he served his country by re-enlisting in the army as a dentist for thirty years. After retiring from the army, he served by volunteering in veteran’s hospital dental clinics, and numerous other veterans’ related organizations.


Col. Crase may be small in stature, but he is big in heart and generous in spirit. The measure of a man is in his deeds and Col. Crase stands tall among men. As Silas thanked his fellow volunteers for celebrating with him, he told us he has learned a great deal about people through his volunteer work, and the pleasure has been all his. Thank you Silas for your service to the Museum, communities, country, and for being our inspiration

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