Military veteran honored
Published 8:00 am Friday, November 11, 2022
Piedmont Area Veterans Council (PAVC) Board Member Douglas Randolph attended the Bob Woodruff Stand Up for Heroes Event on Monday, Nov. 7.
The event was held in New York City at the legendary David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center.
Randolph was nominated and selected as one of the winners of the prestigious event.
Stand Up For Heroes is a night of hope, healing, and laughter, honoring our nation’s injured veterans and their families.
As part of his selection, Randolph received two complimentary tickets to attend the Stand Up For Heroes event as an honored guest, sitting in the front row. He was also provided a two-night stay in New York City near the Hall.
Stand Up for Heroes launched in 2007 as the brainchild of Bob and Lee Woodruff and New York Comedy Festival founders Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox and is one of New York’s most anticipated nights of hope, healing and laughter, honoring our nation’s injured veterans and their families. Since then, the event has raised more than $65 million to create long-lasting, positive outcomes for our nation’s injured veterans, service members and their families.
MORE ABOUT RANDOLPH
Randolph, a Charlotte County resident and military veteran, has made a name for himself.
One of 15 children, he doesn’t talk much about the details of his time in the military; if you were to see Randolph out and about today, you would quickly recognize him with his trademark sunglasses on and proudly wearing his Vietnam veteran coat and Bronze Star hat.
“The military really opens your eyes to what’s around the world and the different types of people,” Randolph said. “Everybody is not good. I’ve had people call me a baby killer for the time that I spent in Vietnam, but after so long, you’re not going to put up with it.”
Randolph spent 37 months in Vietnam, gaining a Bronze Star along the way.
“What happened to us (soldiers) shouldn’t have happened to anybody, but when you sign that oath, you go where they tell you to go, or you go to jail, and I don’t look good in stripes or orange,” he laughed.
Randolph was born and raised in Charlotte County and, at the early age of 9, began working in the tobacco fields, followed by sawmills.
At 16, Randolph says he dropped out of school; by 19, he was living in New York.
In New York, he found his way to the recruiting office.
“They asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I wanted to be a heavy equipment operator,” he explained.
In 1962 Randolph joined the United States Army. It was in the Army Randolph says he was able to see the world, get his GED, obtain two degrees, start a business and move up the ranks.
“The Army gave me a chance,” he said. I was a high school dropout that was given an opportunity.”
Randolph also talked about the bond he made in the Army with his fellow soldiers.
“Black or white, it did not matter,” he said. “It still does not matter. We are all brothers.”
DEALING WITH LIFE’S CHANGES
When Randolph returned from his time in Vietnam, he met his wife of 42 years, Nora.
“She was a Godsend,” he said.
Sadly, Randolph’s wife passed away in 2011.
In all, Randolph spent 26 years in the U.S. Army retiring as a Sergeant Major in August 1988.
Today, the veteran can be found volunteering his time to help other veterans in need.
“When a veteran goes off to war, they don’t go by themselves,” he added. “The family is involved too. When they leave home, things don’t stop. So, anything I can do to better a service person’s life, I do.”
When it comes to helping, Randolph spends his time with the American Legion Post 260, VFW Post 8902, PAVC, Piedmont Alcohol Safety Action Program and the Adult Literacy Program in Charlotte County.
PAVC serves to assist active duty service members, veterans and their dependents/caregivers who reside in the Counties of Appomattox, Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward in the State of Virginia.
PAVC serves as a community partner by connecting veterans to services and resources they may need.