HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Maj. (Ret.) Harold Stitt has fought some tough battles throughout his life. This year has been especially difficult after he lost his wife. But, with the bad comes the good.
"I wish that she was here to be a part of that," Maj. (Ret.) Stitt said about his induction in the Madison County Military Heritage Commission's Hall of Heroes. "It wouldn't have been possible without them, and particularly her."
Stitt and his wife, Virginia, loved each other and love this country. Stitt fought in the Vietnam War from the cockpit of a helicopter.
"We flew primarily combat assault missions, primarily in support of the 9th infantry division," Maj. (Ret.) Stitt said.
His second tour took off two years after his first hitch ended. This time, he carried extra precious cargo with him: General Creighton Abrams, Commander of Military Operations in the Vietnam War.
"There's no margin for error period when you're flying," Maj. (Ret.) Stitt said. "But, it was even more so here because anytime we left Saigon with him flying, I always had an empty helicopter flying out there, I had my own fire control team, so forth supporting it cause if you go down with that guy."
More memories from a 20-year military career line the walls of Stitt's home. But, it's what you can't see that matters most.
"No matter what ever happened out there, I knew somebody had my back," Maj. (Ret.) Stitt said.
This week, Stitt adds another honor to his home as the Madison County Military Heritage Commission inducts him into the Hall of Heroes.
"I just want to thank everyone for this happening," Maj. (Ret.) Stitt said. "It came on as a surprise early this year, I had just came back from Pennsylvania to make arrangements for a memorial service for my wife up there."
That special lady, that special support, made all the difference.
"These ladies, again, they were sitting back there, they don't pin medals on them and so forth, but they always were there," Maj. (Ret.) Stitt said of the women waiting for their loved ones back home.