Source: Sherman Publications

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Veteran groups help soldier robbed on leave

by CJ Carnacchio

September 21, 2011

From battlefield strife to civilian life, soldiers and veterans never turn their backs on one of their own.

Case in point, when Oxford's veterans groups heard about a U.S. Army private being robbed at gunpoint in Pontiac last week while home on leave from Iraq, they got together and are planning to give the young man $400 to help make up for his loss and ensure his Rest and Relaxation (R&R) time isn't a bust.

"As soon as I saw the story, I called the American Legion (Post 108), the VFW (Post 334), the AMVETS and the (Legion) Auxiliary, and they all said absolutely, let's give him some money," said Oxford resident Clarence Cameron, a proud U.S. Marine veteran of the Korean War. "I didn't want him roaming around without any money to spend."

Each of the four groups contributed $100 to Pvt. Ken Flynn, who's an Abrams Tank mechanic for the Delta 1-5 Cavalry. He's been serving in Iraq since early May and is scheduled to return on Sept. 29.

"I thought this guy needs to see that we're not all bad people," Cameron said. "I told his mother there's enough money for him to take her out to dinner and she chuckled."

As a veteran, Cameron understands how important it is for a young soldier on leave to have some cash in his pocket.

"I know when I went on R&R in Japan, I had a fist full of money," he said.

For soldiers serving in a combat area, R&R is supposed to offer a much-needed dose of normalcy and the enjoyment of creature comforts. "One of the first things I did when I went to the R&R hotel (in Japan) was fill the bathtub with hot water and just soak up the comfort of being in the tub, relaxing," Cameron said.

Cameron is absolutely disgusted with the unknown male who robbed Flynn and a friend on Sept. 14 , the day after he returned home. Not only did the robber take Flynn's wallet and cell phone, he stole the private's military identification.

"He was a complete animal to do this," Cameron noted.