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Letter: Dick Ephgrave
Veteran: Thanks to ICF

Thursday, November 15, 2012

As a disabled veteran, I would like to say thank you on behalf of all veterans to ICF International for its Veterans Day Commemoration on Monday. Its contribution to our local veterans is very much appreciated.

When I left the Army in 1968, veterans were not at all appreciated because of an unpopular war in Vietnam. I remember that I couldn’t wait to grow my hair back and become a civilian again. I rarely mentioned my military service because it invariably led to an argument with a hippie about the Vietnam war. I got a job, applied for my G.I. Bill tuition benefits and started graduate school at night. I got married, became a father, joined the PTA and never looked back.

Today, the pendulum has swung completely the other way. Thanks to people like those at ICF, veterans are receiving the appreciation they truly deserve. These days, I get occasional free meals, a discount at my favorite store (Lowe’s), and I actually get pretty choked up when people thank me for my service.

My disability is a hearing loss that was the result of being a tank commander. You have to yell to get any of us old tankers to get us to hear you. It doesn’t cause me any problems, but my wife and my friends have to repeat things a lot. I now have hearing aids, compliments of the Veterans Administration. I still can’t hear well, but at least I look like I can.

I never regretted joining the Army in 1965. It simply was the right thing to do. I am very grateful for everything that has been done for me as a veteran by people such as ICF, and every time I see that big black wall in Washington, I thank the good Lord that my name is not on it.

Dick Ephgrave



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