Congratulations to Our Veteran Hero
When I heard that two Vietnam veterans were instrumental in the discovery of the car bomb smack in the middle of Theater District, I knew one of them had to be Duane Jackson.
I have known Duane for many years (too many to count). The Duane I know is acutely aware of his surroundings; he has been a street vendor in Manhattan for close to two decades. I am not surprised at his heroic act of bravery.
Duane has been active in veteran's affairs as long as I have known him. He doesn't miss a Veteran's Day parade, if he can help it. His advocacy for veterans, especially disabled veterans, is legendary in some circles.
Increasing the number of vendors licenses for disabled veterans has been Duane's pet project. Veterans who make a living as street vendors are the eyes and ears for those of us too busy to notice our surroundings. Last weekend's incident should persuade the City to issue more licenses specifically allocated to disabled vets. Our security depends upon this change in policy.
With his quirky sense of humor, I know Duane is enjoying his new-found celebrity immensely. I could hear it in his voice when I called. He deserves every minute of it. (And I deserve being chastised for not calling more often.)
Thank you, Duane, for your continued service to our country.
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