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September/october 2009

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 Retired Army Gen. Ezell Ware, Jr., died June 30 of cancer at his home in Arlington, Texas. He was 68 years old. Gen. Ware retired in 2003 following a distinguished 41-year military career, during which he served for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, seven years in the U. S. Army, and thirty years in the California Army National Guard. During his active-duty Army service, Gen. Ware was commissioned as a pilot and aviation warrant officer. He served for a year in the Vietnam War as a highly decorated combat helicopter gunship pilot with the 61st Helicopter Assault Company.
Known to friends and family as “EZ,” Gen. Ware was an active member of several veterans’ organizations, including Vietnam Veterans of America, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the United States Marine Corps League, and the U.S. Army Black Aviation Association. He served as Vice President of Vietnam Veterans of America’s charitable arm, the Veterans Support Foundation.
“EZ was a major influence in the direction and operation of the Foundation, which is dedicated to the improvement of the lives and circumstances of all generations of veterans and their families,” said John Miterko, who also serves on the Foundation’s board of directors.
Gen. Ware’s autobiography, By Duty Bound: Survival And Redemption In a Time of War, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim. The book’s most riveting segments are Gen. Ware’s depiction of growing up dirt poor and black in racist rural Mississippi in the 1950s and his stirring recounting of the three weeks he and another pilot spent evading the enemy in the jungles of South Vietnam after they were shot down.




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