As we celebrate Veterans Day and honor those who have served our country--as well as their families--let's also be sure to remember in particular the families of veterans who are no longer with us. Your sacrifices mean so much to us, and we are forever grateful.
Left Alive to Die, is just one example of the ultimate sacrifice made by a man and his family to help protect and serve the US. for Mary Lou Hall and her children, Heather and Harley Stephen, their husband and dad, accomplished and decorated U.S. aviator Harley Hall, who unflinchingly signed on for last-gasp missions over Vietnam even in the war's waning seconds in 1973, disappeared after his shootdown--his whereabouts never pinpointed. For his loved ones and for all who still miss him urgently, the question lingers: where is Harley? how could he so utterly vanish? why did the U.S. not charge in and demand an accounting for this one who had such a brilliant future ahead as a military star? why was he left alive to die?
Susan Keen, whose physician husband once served alongside Harley as Hall commanded the celebrated Navy's Blue Angels flight-demonstration team, masterfully and heartwrenchingly profiles Harley, last American pilot shot down before the cease fire; chronicles jarring evidence indicating that Hall remained alive for years after his capture; and outlines our government's humiliating response to his wife's and others' pleas to garner attention for this compelling case.
No American can read Keen's shocking book without being moved to impassioned prayer for those such as Mary Lou who have no closure and whose lives forever are devastated by a war that many would like to believe never happened.
Susan Keen is a mother of two, teacher, reader, and world traveler. A native of Mississippi, she holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Mississippi College, Clinton, MS. She has written and published two cookbooks, was an interior designer, is a graduate of several French cooking schools, and is a gourmet cook. She and her husband, Jack Keen, M.D., live in Fort Worth and are active members of Travis Avenue Baptist Church.