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VFW Magazine March 2018 : Page 1

MARCH 2018 Vol. 105 No. 6 26 ‘A RETURN BRINGS CLOSURE’ Zachariah Fike, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, has taken on the mission of returning lost or stolen Purple Hearts to the veterans — or families of the veterans — who earned them. Since 2012, the VFW life member’s nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited has returned more than 400 of the cherished awards. BY ROBERT KIENER COVER PHOTO: Marines from the 1st Marine Division prepare to attack an Iraqi army compound on April 8, 2003, about seven miles southeast of Baghdad. By April 14, the “Blue Diamond” Division, along with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, had captured Baghdad and ended the rule of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. ( Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images ) A Vietnam War veteran who is a VFW member in Kansas shares his passion of apiculture — also known as beekeep-ing — among active-duty troops at Fort Riley. The demanding avocation requires patience and focus, traits that help to calm nerves and manage post-traumatic stress. BY KELLY GIBSON THE ‘BUZZ’ OF BEEKEEPING 32 ON THE COVER 8 14 32 26 Female Vets Study The Iraq War Beekeeping Reuniting Purple Hearts IN THIS ISSUE 24 173rd Brigade 30 Dedicating Streets Whether they spent it in Bangkok, Hawaii or another locale, GIs in Vietnam trea-sured their week-long break from the war. While the tales were wild for some troops, others sought out the peace and quiet of sightseeing tours or the relative tranquility of time alone with family. BY JEROME GREER CHANDLER R&R IN VIETNAM 36 IN EVERY ISSUE 2 4 6 8 10 40 44 46 48 50 58 60 Women are a vibrant and growing segment of today’s veteran population, but it hasn’t always been this way. For much of the nation’s existence, they were barred from serving in combat. Even so, women have a long tradition of helping to defend the nation. WOMEN IN WAR 34 Command Post Mail Call Now Hear This Issues Up Front Washington Wire Better Health Member Corner Member Benefits VFW In Action Book Corner Reunions and Claims Vets in Focus BY JANIE DYHOUSE CHECK OUT OUR DIGITAL VERSION AT WWW.VFWMAGAZINE.ORG NEED HELP? VETERANS CRISIS LINE: 1-800-273-8255 MARCH 2018   • WWW.VFW.ORG • 1

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