I’m very grateful my father Conrad is still here and for everything he has done for me, my family and kids. He was a career military man, like my friend’s father featured this week.
I recall one day in 2nd grade at Riverside Elementary school in Moorhead. It was towards the end of the school year in Mrs. Ross’s class. We had TV news cameras in the classroom, lots of them. Everyone was pretty elated and doing their best to ham it up. They even followed us into the gym for lunch. That day I was given the high task of securing a milk crate to count and distribute milk to the class for lunch. Milk duty and performing it on camera was the day I probably peaked.
As I handed milk out to classmates and side stepped the cameras everyone had a smile except my good friend Dave. Dave, his sister Andrea and his mother lived on 3rd or 2nd street in Moorhead. Dave was a very smart kid and we tore the streets up with our bikes. My friend Dave was named after his Father David Mott. You see, in 1972 on May 21st Captain David Mott was shot down over Northern, South Vietnam and taken POW. This is why the cameras were in the room and why everyone except my friend Dave was not smiling. Dave would not talk a bit about it. I just found out the family never knew he was captured. I cannot imagine the anguish that family suffered. We both had military dads. Funny thing about the military is you never know. You never know if your career takes you to where you could be shot down. Or it could take you to where you down to many shots.
A quick Google search will reveal David Motts bravery. He was an OV-10 pilot. These are prop planes very lightly armed with machine guns and missiles mostly smoke. These aircraft are used by FACs (forward air controllers). FACs rain down hell from US aircraft and artillery assets. They fly low and slow over target-rich environments looking for the best targets. Usually they do this under fire as was the case with Cpt. Mott. I’m sure his greeting was not friendly hitting the ground. He was marched hundreds of miles through the jungle. His final destination was the Hanoi Hilton. He was released 313 days later and recovered from his injuries. He retired in 1996 from the Air Force as a bird Colonel. A testimony to his resiliency.
Remember this Father’s Day we have many kids in this area whose parents are deployed. Please help those kids and families out.
Proudly, my group The FM Legion Riders along with Specks Bar and an anonymous donor will be treating families of those deployed to a lunch at Pizza Ranch and a day at the zoo.
To submit stories or nominate a Veteran of the week please email firstname.lastname@example.org.