IN THE 1920’S THERE WAS A MAN WHO LITERALLY RULED THE CITY OF CHICAGO.

HE WAS A GANGSTER NAMED AL CAPONE.

AND HE WAS INVOLVED IN EVERYTHING FROM BOOTLEGGING BOOZE, TO PROSTITUTION, TO MURDER.

HE HAD AN ATTORNEY THEY CALLED EASY EDDIE AND HE WAS GOOD – VERY GOOD. SO GOOD THAT NO MATTER WHAT TROUBLE CAPONE GOT INTO, EASY EDDIE COULD GET HIM OFF.

NOW, THIS MADE EASY EDDIE A VERY RICH MAN, BUT HE HAD A PROBLEM. HE HAD A YOUNG SON THAT HE LOVED DEARLY AND WANTED THE VERY BEST FOR HIM. AND AS THIS YOUNG BOY GREW UP, MORE AND MORE EASY EDDIE COULD SEE THAT HIS SORDID LIFE COULD NOT BE STOPPED FROM MOLDING HIS SON TO BE A MAN JUST LIKE HIM. SO EASY EDDIE HAD A TOUGH DECISION –

DID HE OFFER HIS SON A GOOD AND WEALTHY LIFE, OR A GOOD NAME.

WELL, EASY EDDIE MADE UP HIS MIND. HE DETERMINED TO GO TO THE POLICE AND TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT AL CAPONE.

HE KNEW IT WOULD COST HIM DEARLY, BUT HE WANTED MORE THAN ANYTHING TO BE AN EXAMPLE TO HIS SON.

SO EASY EDDIE TURNED IN AL CAPONE AND CAPONE’S REIGN OF POWER ENDED. EASY EDDIE TESTIFIED, AL CAPONE WENT TO ALCATRAZ FEDERAL PRISON, AND NOT LONG AFTER, EASY EDDIE WAS MOWED DOWN BY A HAIL OF GUN FIRE ON THE STREETS OF CHICAGO. HE HAD GIVEN HIS SON THE GREATEST GIFT HE COULD OFFER AT THE GREATEST PRICE HE COULD PAY.

NOW, THIS BRINGS ME TO MY SECOND STORY OF A MAN, A LIEUTENANT COMMANDER AND FIGHTER PILOT IN WORLD WAR TWO. HIS NAME WAS BUTCH O’HARE.

    ONE DAY HE AND HIS ENTIRE SQUAD WERE SENT ON A MISSION.

ONCE IN THE AIR, BUTCH NOTICED THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIS PLANE – HE HAD ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF FUEL. SO HIS COMMANDING OFFICER TOLD HIM TO RETURN TO HIS SHIP. AND AS HE MADE HIS RETURN, FAR FROM THE OTHER PLANES AND HIS SHIP, HE SAW SOMETHING THAT TURNED HIS BLOOD ICE COLD. IT WAS A SQUADRON OF JAPANESE BOMBERS SPEEDING THEIR WAY TOWARD THE AMERICAN FLEET.

IF HE DIDN’T STOP THE BOMBERS, MANY AMERICAN SOLDIERS WOULD DIE.

SO, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ONLY A LITTLE FUEL LEFT, BUTCH O’HARE FLEW HIS PLANE RIGHT INTO THAT FLEET OF JAPANESE BOMBERS WITH HIS .50 CALIBER GUNS BLAZING. AND, AS THEY RETURNED HIS FIRE, HE WAS UNDAUNTED. HE WOULD NOT STOP – HE COULD NOT STOP. HE MUST SAVE HIS SHIP. SO, EVEN THOUGH HIS OWN PLANE WAS PELTED WITH ENEMY BULLETS, HE KEPT DODGING AND FIGHTING UNTIL HIS AMMUNITION WAS ALL SPENT – AND HE HAD DESTROYED FIVE ENEMY BOMBERS.

THE JAPANESE BOMBER MISSION WAS BROKEN AND, SOMEHOW, BUTCH O’HARE MADE IT BACK TO HIS SHIP.

WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED JUST WHAT HE HAD DONE, PUTTING HIS VERY LIFE ON THE LINE TO SAVE HIS FELLOW MEN, BUTCH O’HARE BECAME THE FIRST NAVAL AVIATOR TO BE AWARDED THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR.

A YEAR LATER LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BUTCH O’HARE WAS KILLED IN COMBAT AT ONLY THE AGE OF 29. BUT, HIS HOME TOWN OF CHICAGO WOULD NOT LET HIS MEMORY DIE, AND TODAY THE CHICAGO O’HARE AIRPORT BEARS HIS NAME.

    OH, AND ONE OTHER PIECE TO THIS STORY.

THAT YOUNG SON TO EASY EDDIE, THE BOY THAT EASY EDDIE LITERALLY DIED FOR TO RESTORE HIS GOOD FAMILY NAME AND TO GIVE HIS SON A FATHER HE COULD BE PROUD OF.

THAT YOUNG BOY’S NAME WAS BUTCH O’HARE.

JUST WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A GOOD CHARACTER?

A WISE MAN ONCE SAID “WE MAKE A LIVING BY WHAT WE GET. BUT WE MAKE A LIFE BY WHAT WE GIVE”.

AMEN!

About Jerry Stewart

I am a story teller. Since 1998, I have been telling the true stories of our nation and those Americans gone before us.  To say the least, these stories have been well received by Americans, both young and old.  So, here’s where the stories have taken me.  In 1998, I was broadcasting my stories on just one radio station in Washington State.  Today, from Texas 15 years later, these programs are now broadcast through a syndicated radio network to over 400 radio stations all across America, with literally millions of listeners.

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