By Sgt. Robert L. Buggs
Gary native, Quentin P. Smith, soars to new heights as the recipient of the nation’s highest civilian award, the Congressional Medal of Honor. The flags that flew high above the Adam Benjamin Jr. Veterans Outpatient Clinic paled in comparison to the high-spirited praises and accolades bestowed upon Tuskegee Airman Quentin P. Smith.
Congressman Peter J. Visclosky facilitated this historical event by personally making the presentation for Smith’s heroic acts of valor as a member of a Black military fighter pilots group known as the Tuskegee Airmen. During World War II, the military was segregated and prohibited the Black fighter pilots from training with their white counterparts. The Tuskegee Airmen excelled and flew into history by their daring exploits under such adverse circumstances. They became a legend in their prolific victories while engaging the enemy in aerial dogfights in the European theatre during WWII. After pre-and-post war racial discrimination, incarceration and dishonorable discharges, the Tuskegee Airmen prevailed once again…60 years later, as recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
America and veterans of all wars and engagements salute and thank you.