In this episode we will mark the passing of another brave Vietnam Veteran. His name is Rodger McConnell of Great Falls, Montana. His passing was reported in a story found in the Great Falls Tribune titled: McConnell remembered by friends, veterans that was submitted by Jenn Rowell, email@example.com.
McConnell was drafted in 1966 and served with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer. Although he did not show it he suffered from PTSD and that led to homelessness and excessive drinking when he came home. One day while sitting in a bar another Vietnam veteran walked up to him and said “I know where you’ve been and I know where you’re going, don’t go there.” That’s when he started to get sober and on a recovery track.
After he stopped drinking he worked as an elementary school teacher. He discovered the therapeutic benefits of fly-fishing and moved to Montana to practice the art on the Madison River. Because he had no family he threw himself into community and veteran activities which became an extended family for him. He was no quitter. In his final days he was helping plan the Memorial Day ceremony at the Montana Veterans Memorial. He kept showing up at Veterans Court. He kept volunteering and he kept drinking coffee at his Starbucks shops on 10th Avenue South right up to the last.
Rodger asked for memorial donations to be made in care of the Grace Home Veterans Center, which will provide transitional housing for homeless veterans, at 2211 5th Ave N. Please contact Deb Kottel at 899-7401, firstname.lastname@example.org, St. Vincent De Paul, 426 Central Ave West, www.svdpncmt.org. The donations will help open and operate the Grace Home. Condolences may be left online at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com
Rest in peace Vietnam Veteran Rodger McConnell.