Dan Klein, USAF Veteran


I was in the Air Force as a medic from 1977 to 1982, Eglin Air Force base.

I have been actively looking for my service picture but cannot find it. Since I served during peacetime, the only service picture that I have is of my graduation from basic training, nothing exciting. My father and five other brothers all served too. I retired from the VA after 33 years as a registered nurse and loved taking care of the Veterans, a great group of men and women.

I worked three years in the intensive care unit and over two years in the family practice clinic, before I discharged. There were the best and the most difficult of times being a nurse. It was an honor to be near these retired and active duty men and women when they passed, to just hold their hand. I don’t really know how to put it other than I have been honored to “catch” a newborn and honored to close the eyes of the recently departed.

I remember Benjamin Almagher, a friend from high school who was shot and died in Vietnam. He was in the Marines and came from a long line of his family that served in the Marines. I know that he has relations living in the Monmouth, Illinois area. I was born and raised there.

Memorial Etching

I wore a POW bracelet for Vietnam Veteran 1st Lieutenant Jonathan B. Bednarek who was an Air Force pilot and was KIA in Vietnam. I wanted to see him remembered and honored. I named my son after him. After posting a comment to Jenny Lasala’s veteran tribute page COMES A Soldier’s Whisper, I received a message from her offering to share my story. Jenny reached out to Susan Kee, creator of https://www.facebook.com/susankeewriter/?fref=ts
who was planning a visit to The Wall and was kind enough to look up Jonathan B. Bednarek’s name. Susan also took these pictures and did a memorial etching of this Hero from The Wall and mailed it to me. I quit wearing the POW bracelet after I found out that he came home to be buried.

Jonathan B. Bednarek. USAF Pilot

I so want to honor this man who I would have enjoyed meeting, hopefully in our next life.
~ Dan Klein, USAF Veteran

Stories Compiled by Jenny La Sala www.JennyLasala.com