Leaderboard – Harry Wisdom
By Libby Mehaffey
When Harry enrolled at the University of North Dakota in the early 1960’s, it hadn’t crossed his mind that he was going to be a career military man. At the time he was focused on paying his way through school on a baseball scholarship and if that didn’t work out, finding a well paying job in banking.
Nearing graduation and after failed tryouts with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Athletics, Harry became an enlisted man in the US Army hoping to train as a pilot. It was a quiet time after the Korean War and the military seemed like a safe place to see the world. Unbeknownst to him, he would make a career out of it, retiring as a decorated lieutenant colonel.
If you meet Harry Wisdom, Jr., you wouldn’t think that the 67-year old grandfather was a heavily decorated Huey helicopter pilot with over 1000 combat hours, or that he received two Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, three Distinguished Services Crosses or two Bronze Stars while flying Medivac missions over Vietnam. Nor would you think that the man who had his helicopter shot out from under him three times, was a disabled American veteran, yet Lieutenant Colonel Wisdom, Jr. is a vet and he has a cause; Tee It Up For the Troops.
“When I retired in 1986 after 24 years, I thought I was embarking on a new career outside the military so I didn’t talk much about my experiences. Even my wife and kids didn’t know much of what went on when I served,” stated Wisdom, Jr. “Meeting J.B. (founder J.B. “James” Ball) at a bible study really brought everything to the surface. When he talked about how he wanted to show his appreciation for the troops, I said I would be interested only as long as his organization continued it efforts beyond the current conflicts. That’s why I got involved with Tee It Up For the Troops and we are just scratching the surface when it comes to what we can do.”