By Martie Cenkci, MOWW Dallas Chapter
DALLAS—Veterans Day is a significant event for all Americans, and especially so for patriotic organizations, both locally and across the nation.
This past Veterans Day, CPT (R) Allen Clark ’63 commander of the Dallas Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, was the speaker and honored guest at the Captain Molly Corbin Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Veterans Day luncheon, held in Southlake, Texas.
This was a particularly meaningful observance as the nation marked the 50th Anniversary of the End of the Vietnam War. The DAR is a Commemorative Partner with the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration.
CPT (R) Clark ’63 lost both legs in combat near Dak To, Vietnam, in June 1967. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds and the Silver Star for Gallantry for his actions. A 1963 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, CPT (R) Clark’s military career ended with a medical retirement and prosthetic legs, but his service to the nation and commitment to veterans was only beginning.
“It was such an honor to meet CPT (R) Clark and to introduce him to our chapter members and their guests for Veterans Day,” said Chapter Regent Dr. Georgianna Witt Braden. “His is a compelling story of healing and recovery, and of giving back to the warfighter and veteran community.”
After learning to adjust to his disability, CPT (R) Clark ’63 pursued advanced degrees and spent some time in the private sector before beginning appointed government service both in Texas and in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has since been involved in community outreach efforts to veteran and active-duty groups to assist them in dealing with their combat experiences.
As a member of the Dallas Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, he also spoke about his American Revolutionary War ancestors who fought in the Battle of Yorktown (Virginia, Sept. 28 – Oct. 19, 1781) and the Battle of Eutaw Springs (South Carolina, Sept. 8, 1781).
CPT (R) Clark ’63 evoked America’s historical past with noted lines from President Ronald Reagan’s Second Inaugural Address:
“History is a ribbon, always unfurling; history is a journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us… Now we hear again the echoes of our past: a general falls to his knees in the hard snow of Valley Forge; a lonely President paces the darkened halls, and ponders his struggle to preserve the Union; the men of the Alamo call out encouragement to each other…”
After his remarks, Chapter Regent Braden and First Vice Regent Julie Schellen presented CPT (R) Allen Clark ’63 with an American flag flown over DAR Headquarters in Washington DC in his honor on Constitution Day.
Regent Braden concluded the presentation by thanking him for his remarks. “Your story and words are incredibly inspirational as is everything that you’ve given to our country,” she said. “While we can never repay the debt we owe you, we can strive to be the kind of Americans who are worth fighting for.”