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Rotarians to host Vietnam war hero

Dr. John Todd (click for larger version)
March 19, 2014 - ader Editor

A local war hero who's led an inspirational and fascinating life will be the Rotary Club of Oxford's guest speaker at its Tuesday, March 25 meeting at the Oxford Hills Golf and Country Club (300 E. Drahner Rd.).

Dr. John Todd, a well-respected and accomplished professor at Rochester College in Rochester Hills and decorated Vietnam veteran, will address the club about how the United States got in and out of the long and controversial war.

The Oxford resident was named the 2013 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans. Todd's been blind since 1969 when he lost his sight at age 22 while flying a combat mission.

During the war, Todd was a U.S. Army pilot who flew a Bell AH-1G Huey Cobra attack helicopter. For his service, he was awarded the Purple Heart, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor and 17 combat air medals, one of which has a 'V' for valor.

Following the war, Todd went to work as the national coordinator for Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, a group created by President Richard Nixon's administration to defend the war and counter the claims of anti-war activists. For about a year-and-a-half, Todd gave speeches, did radio and television editorials, and debated anti-war activists.

He went on to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1976 and the Georgetown University Law Center in 1979.

For the past 35 years, he's educated and molded young minds at Rochester College.

Todd doesn't let his blindness slow him down one bit. He completely rebuilt the two-story home on Ora Rd. in Oxford Township where he and his wife currently reside.

The public is invited to join the Rotarians for Todd's March 25 speaking engagement. Those who wish to enjoy lunch beforehand are welcome to do so for $10 per person.

Lunch will be served at 12 p.m. and Todd will take the podium at about 12:30 p.m.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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