February 22, 2010

Milton L.Olive, III ~ For Love, Honor, Country

Medal with dog tags and american flag

Sometimes information comes about in the most inconspicuous ways.

Driving home from my teen son's late basketball games, with my 78 year old Dad in tow, is always a treat. As we were driving into the city from Evanston, the Lake-front appeared black with sky and evening waves, and our travel wiggled and wined down "the Drive". The intermittent evening traffic allowed for a bit of sight-seeing and converstaion.

As our ride approached Grant Park, Dad began to share that Olive Park was just around the way and that Milton Olive, III's father used to buy flowers from him.

"Milton Olive? Who is that, Dad?" Dad went on to share that Milton L. Olive, III was the first Black American to receive the Medal Of Honor for the Vietnam War.

WHAT? I had never paid attention to the namesake of OLIVE HARVEY COLLEGE or Olive Park, nor had I ever learned of his bravery.

This young man, a Chicagoan born and raised, at the tender age of 18, selflessly flung himself onto a live grenade to spare the lives of his four other mates.


Young Milton's life, his courage and valor brought to life by my Dad's memory, gave pause to the many heroes we should recall, cherish and admire - so, on the 24th day of Black History Month, Milton L. Olive III, I thank you for your sacrifice.

I promise to share your story with all young men.

We must keep all of our heroes alive ...

Thanks Dad ~ one war hero's homage to another



dan said...

Thanks for that vignette. I'm a pastor finishing my sermon for tomorrow, getting ready to use Pvt. Olive's story of sacrifice in my message about Jesus' work for us on the cross. And your post made me catch my breath-- because I paid my way through seminary by teaching ESL-GED classes on the south side for Olive-Harvey College-- and I, too, never knew the story behind the Olive name.

Houseonahillorg said...

Pastor Dan,

I LOVE that you stopped to share that! Thank you ... blessings are so wonderful because they just keep on giving.

You have blessed my day,