16 June 2015
“My name is James A. Bain,” he said, “but I go by Tony.” Tony Bain is a man who has always chosen to give. First, he gave to his country by serving in the U.S. Army. Then he gave to his community with his work as Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Local 33. This day he is giving his uniform and other memorabilia from his time with the First 17th Cavalry 82nd Airborne Division to the Virginia War Memorial Museum.
“My unit was the first unit to be in Desert Storm,” Bain said with pride. “There were just 35 people with two Blackhawks, two 58s and two Cobras - and that’s all there was for the first month,” he said. “We scared Hussein,” he said with a smile. “The remainder of the unit came over the following month, and it took six months to get everything over there – all the army units, tanks, and such,” he said.
Jon Hatfield of the Virginia War Memorial Museum was there to receive the donation and speak to the Veterans Group which meets at the Dogwood Restaurant the last Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. The meeting is open to all veterans, whether they served in peacetime or during war, and regardless of which branch of the service they were in. “I am going to speak to the group for a few minutes about the Virginia War Memorial Museum and the programs that we have to help educate students about the cost of freedom,” Hatfield said. “Getting a uniform donated today to our displays at the war memorial is a great help. When I went in the service,” Hatfield said, “everybody went in the service - the draft was in full force. Now less than 1 percent of our population is involved with the military which means of course 99 percent are not; and if 99 percent do not know the role the military takes in protecting our freedoms, well, we need to teach them.”