It is when I read about such individuals that I wonder if my life has been wasted. I never did anything "meaningful" and certainly was never as brave as this gentleman. I doubt that I could be, unless driven to such extremes. I do not recall ever hearing or reading his name, but he is surely a great American--greater than many that have been given this label.
When I was in private school, some classmates traveled to Selma, Alabama to take part in the marches. They were from well-off white families, driven by their Christian beliefs and human values. I was not tempted to join them. To use the cowardly words of another shirker: "I had other priorities" (of which I cannot remember). I was simply not the kind to get involved in the fights and struggles of others. I might have sympathized, but was not brave enough or driven enough. The only voluntary brave thing that I have done is to save a drowning man. I do not recall more than a simple Merci (he was French, we were in France, and the ocean was the Atlantic), but I did not do it for any other reason than it was the thing to do. In hindsight, it was the thing to do to travel to Selma, but I did not...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.