Fred McDade had only played in the Major Leagues with the Washington Senators for 13 days when he was drafted into the Army. At first, he played baseball in Germany, but in 1967, he was assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry with orders to Vietnam.
McDade was severely injured after spending four months and 21 days in Vietnam. He was leading a convoy on a resupply mission when his Jeep was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, killing the driver. McDade lost sight in both eyes, and his right-leg was amputated. He earned the Purple Heart before being discharged.
When he returned home, McDade enrolled in school at Dalton Junior College, where he would become its first-ever blind graduate. He later earned a master’s degree at the University of Chattanooga.
Though he had trouble finding a job—being both blind and overeducated for most of the jobs he applied to—McDade eventually settled into counseling at-risk high school students. He is now retired and lives in Georgia.
Thank you for your service, Fred!
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Editor: Ashley Levi
Fact Checker: Seng Hla