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: THE DEFINING GENERATION is a project begun by Doug and Pam Sterner in 2002 and completed in 2006. Initially is was prepared for publication as a book, however with their changing focus to development of a database of military awards, was postponed indefinitely so they could concentrate on that larger, more important work. The stories found herein however, need to be shared, and they have consented to make this compilation available in this format. While each story can stand alone, it is recommended that for continuity, readers will be best served by reading the chapters sequentially from first to last.


The Defining Generation


Defining Entertainment

Brian's Song


"Brian's Song came out at a time when America was going through a very difficult period. There was a lot of tension and a lot of racial tension as well. Brian's Song came along and it was a good time for America to stop and take a deep breath. These were professional athletes who were at the top of their performance and they didn't let race stand in the way. In fact their differences and their friendship became a badge of honor. The message that it gave us in Korea, and how it particularly effected us in the Army was that it was a way of showing us that whether we were black, white, Hispanic or Korean, the only thing that counts is how we get along together. We have to look beyond our differences and build on our strengths." 

General Colin L. Powell


If in fact "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" had a minimal impact on race relations, the 1971 made-for-TV move "Brian's Song" certainly did. Unlike the earlier "message movie" that was built around the issue of interracial marriage, the underlying story of "Brian's Song" was not so much about race as it was about friendship. Quite simply, it was the story of two professional football players Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo, and how they alternately became a "Bridge over Troubled Waters" each for the other. It was a movie you could not watch without tears, no matter how cynical or tough you were. It most likely would have had the same impact if both characters had been Black or if both had been White. The message was not contrived, it evolved naturally out of the two men's story.

The impact of the movie on race relations is referenced by General Colin Powell who spoke of it in his 1995 autobiography. Powell was serving as a Battalion Commander in Korea in 1973, a period during which the military was experiencing a resurgence of post-Vietnam War racism within the ranks. His Division Commander, Major General Henry E. Emerson, was a fan of the movie and repeatedly showed it within his command. By his own count Powell himself watched it at least six times during his one-year tour in Korea . After showing the film to a group of soldiers at the post theater the movie would be followed by a period of discussion. Under General Emerson both watching the movie and then discussing it was mandatory.

Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo were very different men, which was obvious from the opening scene of the movie.. "Pic," as the latter was affectionately called, was talkative, extroverted, and easy going. Sayers was quiet, introverted, and serious. Sayers was virtually assured a starting spot on the Bears roster and was the fourth overall pick in the 1965 Draft on November 28, 1964 . Piccolo, the nation's leading college rusher that year, was not even among the 280 college players drafted. Coach George Halas, who had signed Dick Butkus in the third overall draft pick and then Sayers immediately thereafter, signed Picollo as a free agent; he would have to fight for a spot on the team. Sayers was a natural athlete who made the starting lineup of the 1965 Bears roster based on raw talent; Piccolo survived the cuts and made the "practice squad" on sheer heart and determination.

What the two young men had in common was that both of them were young (23-years-old with only five months between them), healthy, and determined to build successful careers in professional football. Brian's Song opens with the two of them meeting for the first time in the Spring of 1965 at the Bears training camp. In that opening scene one additional difference is obvious, Gale Sayers was Black and Brian Piccolo was White. Perhaps the single most poignant fact of the movie is that fifteen minutes into the story of their lives, it is easy to forget that difference. Therein lay the true impact of Brian's Song on the American psyche.

Louis Brian Piccolo was born on Halloween 1943, in Pittsfield , Massachusetts , the youngest of three children. His brother Joe was eight years older and brother Don two years older. His father, Joseph Piccolo, Sr., was born in Naples , Italy , and despite the German-Hungarian ancestry of his wife Irene, the Piccolo boys saw themselves as fun-loving, free-wheeling Italian boys. Joseph worked as a Greyhound bus driver and then began his own driving school in Pittsfield . Despite health problems doctors couldn't identify that caused him to hemorrhage from the nose and mouth unexpectedly, he took life with a cheerfulness and casual approach to working hard and yet taking time to enjoy life. Every winter he closed his business and took the family to Fort Lauderdale , Florida for a couple months and, after a few years of doing so and noting his heath improved while in the warmer climate, the family moved there.

Brian's young life revolved around sports: baseball, football, and basket ball in that order. He and Don practiced together and played Little League Baseball together; Don was the pitcher and Brian was the catcher. If there wasn't someone else to play with he would go out by himself and swing a bat or throw a ball up in the air and catch it himself. "My mother was the dominant factor in my athletic career," he said. "She always wanted me to be the best. When I played Little League baseball, she used to be right behind that screen. I was the catcher, and she was right there in my right ear."[i] Brian loved all sports but from an early age his intent was always to play Professional Baseball.

When Brian began playing football at Fort Lauderdale 's Central Catholic High School he weighed 185 pounds and played offensive tackle his Freshman through Junior years. The team finished 4-6, 2-6-1 and 2-7, not necessarily a stellar performance but the team maintained high morale and high hopes. In the locker room, even after a loss, Brian was the one who remained optimistic for the next game, cheering his comrades with "war stories" from the game just lost and his unique humor drawing laughter out of the experience.

In his Senior year Brian was moved to halfback, still only 185 pounds but much of his earlier "baby fat" had been replaced by muscle and sinew. He scored the first three times he carried the ball, each on a run of more than 50 years. For the game he averaged 10 yards per carry. Though the Central Catholic High Raiders finished the season with a 4-4 record, Brian's athletic accomplishments earned him a scholarship to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem , North Carolina , where he majored in Speech. Only one other college had offered him a scholarship, Wichita State . Brian chose Wake Forest and later, with the kind of humor that marked his life he noted, "Good thing too. That (choosing Wichita ) would have put me in Sayers country and Kansas wasn't big enough for both of us."[ii]

Piccolo arrived at Wake Forest to a larger-than-life buildup, not so much because he was all that impressive in high school, but because the Demon Deacons had a string of loosing seasons that demanded a silver lining for the cloud that covered their football field. Coach Billy Hildebrand was coaching his second year and was loved for his down-home and deeply religious personality. One of his players described Hildy as "The sort of guy you might want your son to play for. You know how they talk about losing games and building character? Hildy was a character builder."[iii]

Brian's Freshman year he played for the Baby Deacons under former Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers running back Beattie Feathers. In 1934 Feathers had been the first NFL player to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season and is still the NFL's single-season record holder for yards per carry (8.44 yards per attempt) also in 1934. Under Beattie the Baby Deacons struggled to a paltry 2-3 season record although Brian Piccolo, averaging a respectable 4.2 yards per carry, scored 5 touchdowns and 4 extra points.

The Deacons lost 10 games during Piccolo's Sophomore year despite "Pic's" 4.2 yard-per-carry average and a total of more than 400 rushing yards for the season. During his Junior year the Deacons lost eight-straight games before a stunning upset against rival South Carolina in the Wake Forest Homecoming game. Piccolo carried the ball nearly two dozen times for 140 yards, coming back from a halftime deficit of 19 to 7 to tie it late in the game. Quarterback Karl Sweetan, who was also the team's kicker, was injured in the tying score. Piccolo walked over to the coach and said, "I'll kick the damn thing (for the conversion)," and he did, eking out a 20 - 19 victory. Even with that win however, the string of four loosing seasons was too much and Coach Hildebrand was released.

Piccolo returned in the Fall of 1963 to play his Senior year for former Illinois assistant Bill Tate. Rick Harvey, later a special writer for the Roanoke, Virginia, "World-News" recalled meeting "Pic" as an incoming Freshman and gives insight into his character. Harvey found himself trying to find his way around campus when, "One well-tanned, dark-haired senior player took time out to help this lost freshman. He wasn't asked to help – he just walked over, noticing with a grin the obviously confused look on my face, and volunteered to show me around. I didn't know the guy's name at the time, but someone told me that he was Brian Piccolo, Wake's senior fullback and that I'd be hearing a lot from Pic during the football season. I did hear a lot from Pic, too, and the more I heard and saw, the more I respected the man that wore the old gold and black jersey with the number 31 across the front of it."[iv]

In his Senior year Brian Piccolo exploded. Wake Forest was picked to finish dead last in the Atlantic Coast Conference not only because of their string of loosing seasons and a 1-8 record the previous year, but because they had a rookie coach and the smallest team in the conference. Ultimately they ended the season at 5 - 5, not necessarily great but an improvement over the previous year and a good start under their new coach. What did generate a lot of interest in the Wake Forest program was star running back Brian Piccolo. Local sports reports were headlined under such titles at: "Piccolo Plays Winning Tune," or "The Sweetest Music this Side of Heaven Comes from a Piccolo." Duke University coach Bill Murray fired up his team by announcing, "This year we're going to play taps on Piccolo." They didn't. Piccolo caught three passes, carried the ball for an ACC record 36 rushes gaining 115 yards, and scored all of the Deacons' points in a 20-7 upset…Wake Forest's first win over Duke since 1951.

Despite a 5-5 season record, for Wake Forest it had been GREAT. Piccolo put it into perspective saying, "We beat Duke, and we beat State. They are the two top teams in the conference standings. The way I figure it, that makes us Number One."[v] Brian Piccolo WAS Number One…with 1,044 yards and 111 total points scored, he led the entire nation in both.

While finishing his Senior year of college Brian and his high school sweetheart Joy Murrath decided to get married. They set the date for December 26 figuring that Christmas holidays were safely away from anything having to do with football that might pre-empt their plans. With his record season, Pic believed he might even be the Number 1 pick in the November NFL Draft. He was hurt, embarrassed, and more than angry when after 20 rounds with 14 Pro teams his name had not been called. The Nation's Number 1 college rusher was a free agent going into the 1965 football season. After the draft he did get inquiries from Baltimore, Chicago, and Cleveland, but nothing was certain.

On Christmas Day the Piccolo family and the Murrath families gathered in Atlanta , where Brian and Joy were to be married the following day, to watch Brian play in the North-South game in Miami . Pic played his heart out knowing the Pros were watching, but it seemed that when "crunch time" came the coach substituted him for a larger player. The general feeling among most NFL coaches was that despite his record, Pic was just too small and too slow for Professional Football. After the game he flew to Atlanta where he and Joy were married.

During the reception that followed a large ice sculpture sat on the buffet to cool the shrimp. It seemed out of place until word got around, Chicago Bears Coach George Halas had invited the newly-weds to honeymoon in Chicago . On December 29 the Bears called an unusual press conference…so unusual most sports writers initially thought it was to announce the retirement of the 70-year-old coach. Instead it was to announce the signing of a Free Agent named Brian Piccolo.

During his subsequent football career Joy proved to be as solid as a rock. Brian loved her and when there was a road game he always sent her a post card. Five years later when Brian became sick it was Joy who, assuming the strong character of her husband came to comfort Pic's friends. Along the way the young couple was blessed with three daughters.


Just ONE daughter was what Bernice Sayers wanted when she learned that she was pregnant in late 1942. She already had an infant son, a boy named Roger, so she optimistically picked out the name Gail for his expected little sister. When the baby that was born in Wichita , Kansas , on May 30, 1943 , turned out to be a boy she faced a dilemma…she hadn't even considered any names for boys. Her infant son was named Gale Eugene Sayers. Years later he would recall in his autobiography that one early picture of him looked very much like a girl, down to the pretty ribbon in his hair.

The Sayers family had deep roots in Kansas and were among the western territory's first settlers. Some in the family became quire successful and financially stable; Gale's great uncle had been the state's first Negro county lawyer. His father had not fared so well. Though that same great uncle had offered to put Roger Winfield Sayers through law school, Gale's father was more inclined to athletics than to academics. His son would follow in his footsteps.

When Gale was seven years old the farmer moved to a rural farm in Speed, Kansas . It was a large 360-acre farm owned by his grandfather who, having become ill asked his son to move there with his family. Gale and his older brother who was named Roger Winfield Sayers after his father…who Gale called Win…were only 13 months apart and became very close. In Speed they were the only Black boys in their school, in fact they were the only Black boys in the entire community, so they gravitated towards each other. Their younger brother Ronnie, five years younger than Gale was at the time just an infant. After a brief time on the farm the family returned to city life, moving to Omaha . It was there that Gale would grow up and attend classes through high school.

Roger worked various jobs that never brought in enough money to properly raise a family. He excelled as a car polisher and gained a reputation for being the best, but his income was usually only $65 or $75 a week. Gale remembers his mother purchasing chicken's feet…they were only fifty cents for 100 feet…which became a staple of the family diet. Gale even used his BB gun to shoot birds from time to time to fill his belly. Today, as a motivational speaker, Gale Sayers often uses the example of his hard-working but poor father to illustrate to young people the importance of getting an education.

The pressures resulted in considerable tension between Gale's parents, often as a result of drinking to drown their problems. He loves his parents, understands what they went through, and holds no bitterness. They remained together despite common periods of brief separation. In the story of his own life Gale wrote, "At the time I went through this period of growing up--my parents drinking, not enough food in the house, cockroaches over things, no heat in the winter--my parents were at each other all the time. Still, it seemed that all my friends were going through the same thing. Hell, I didn't even realize we lived in the ghetto until I moved away from the ghetto….I learned something from that experience, something I probably couldn't have picked up outside the ghetto. I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is you can make it."[vi]

   Growing up in Omaha , Gale was active in city school sports leagues, competing in track, baseball, basketball and football. Football became his favorite and, though the leagues insured the safety of young boys by engaging them in flag football, there were plenty of neighborhood rough-and-tumble tackle scrimmages to toughen Gale and give him his share of bumps, bruises, and scars. When at last he played sanctioned tackle football in high school, he was a determined and tough competitor, often motivated to excel and outdo his older brother Win.

At the end of Gale's senior year Omaha 's Central High School took the city title in football and took State in track. The young multi-sport athlete had contributed by taking three gold medals in track at state and set a state broad-jump record. In football Gale set the City's scoring record and was named to the All-America high school team. He believed he might well be named the Omaha World Herald's Nebraska High School Athlete of the Year. When he lost out to a young athlete with a good record that was only slightly less impressive than Gale's, and considering that Gale accomplished competed in a Class A school as opposed to the winner's Class B school, he assumed that it was because he was Black and the chosen Athlete of the Year was White. "Up to that time I had never thought much about being Black," he wrote. "I had never encountered any racial discrimination, for the simple reason that I always stayed with my own people. At the end of my senior year I got my first recognition of what being a black man could mean."[vii]

Gale's only interest in school had been athletics…he admits he got out of high school not having really learned anything. His talent on the gridiron however, attracted considerable attention and by the end of his Senior year he had received letters from hundreds of colleges. He signed letters of intent for 17 different schools, was courted by all and promised "the moon," and finally settled for Kansas State . At the same time he was doing some courting of his own, proposing marriage to his high school sweetheart Linda. The two planned to marry the summer following their Freshman year; Linda had enrolled for classes at the University of Nebraska at Omaha .

They did indeed marry the following summer after Gale had spent his first year of college distracted and inattentive to scholastic work. "It (marriage) was the only thing that bailed me out," he says. "I doubt that I would have finished college if I hadn't got married. Marriage helped settle me down. And my grades improved one hundred and fifty per cent."[viii]

He began playing for the varsity football team his Sophomore year weighing only 170 pounds. Slowly he brought his weight up to 185 and in one game rushed for a Kansas record 27 times netting 114 yards. During the Homecoming game against Nebraska , a classic rival which was still upset that Gale had chosen Kansas over the Cornhuskers, he rolled up 144 yards. The team finished the year with a 6-3-1 record and Gayle Sayers  finished the season with 1,125 yards making him first in the Big Eight and third in the nation. His Junior year tally of 941, when added to his earlier performance, made him the first Black player in the Big Eight to reach 2,000 years before his Senior year. He was named Conference Back of the Year and made most of the All-America teams. His dashing style of running through the opposition netted him the nickname The Kansas Comet.

At the end of his 4-years as a UK Jayhawk Gale had rushed for 2,675 yards, caught passes for 408 yards and added 835 yards on kick returns. Already some had begun to compare his style to the legendary Red Grange and anticipated he would become an NFL legend himself. Others believed at 6' and only 200 pounds he would never endure the pounding of the much-larger NFL system. The Kansas City Chiefs were interested in their home-state Kansas Comet but despite their offer of more money, Sayers eventually chose to play for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted the following November, the 4th player selected overall.

On Christmas Day 1964 Gayle Sayers played in the North-South All-Star game, opposite a young man named Brian Piccolo. Though the two didn't really talk until they met the following Spring at the Bears training camp, each was aware of the others presence on the field. Brian Piccolo did not know then that Gale was by nature very quiet and hesitant to talk much. "One guy I wasn't impressed with--personality wise--was the Kansas Comet, Gale Sayers," he wrote. "What an arrogant son of a bitch. I didn't see him speak to a soul the whole week we were together."[ix]

The subsequent movie that told the story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers of course, did not and even need not have included all this early history of the two young men. Their differences were obvious from the opening scene, Brian was the talkative and easy-going rookie meeting his introverted and decidedly determined teammate. On screen of course it was an obvious fact that the two men were ethnically different, but even that became quickly forgotten among their more diverse personality differences.

Both men made the final cut that year though for Piccolo, somewhat too small and too slow, it was a struggle. In fact Pic survived the cut to be placed on the practice squad and never played a game in his 1965 rookie season. Sayers, on the other hand, exploded for an incredible 2,272 combined net yards and scored a record 22 touchdowns. His rushing total was second only to Jim Brown's more than 1,500 yards. In the second-to-the-last game of the season alone Sayers ran up a record-tying six touchdowns and 336 combined yards in a 61 - 20 annihilation of the San Francisco 49ers. Coach Halas described it as "the greatest performance I have ever seen on the football field." The Kansas Comet was an immediate super star and was named "NFL Rookie of the Year" in a class that included such future greats as Dick Butkus, Craig Morton, Joe Namath*, and Fred Biletnikoff, and was selected to his first Pro-Bowl appearance.

The 1996 season saw Sayers top his rookie season to lead the NFL in rushing with 1,231 yards and a record 2,440 all-purpose yards. Piccolo at last made the special teams roster, though during that season he only carried the ball three times. It was a disappointing year for Pic who, despite his usual optimistic and casual demeanor, wondered if he was wasting his time with the Bears. The stars on the team however, had come to admire Brian for his drive and determination. He was literally the "heart of the team." He was also ready to always help in any way he could. Dick Butkus' own star had risen and he was a popular speaker. Brian provided much of Dick's material and reviewed all of his prepared comments. Sayers, on the other hand, remained generally to quiet to accept speaking engagements.

The 1997 season saw Piccolo at last get a solid assignment on the Bears' roster as a backup to Sayers. During that season Pic rushed for 317 yards averaging a respectable 4.1 yards per carry. Sayers himself had something of a set-back, turning in only 880 yards rushing and 126 receiving. But the notable event of that year was the pairing of the two in room assignments that made them the first interracial roommates in the NFL.

At the time Gale and Pic didn't really know each other well but, just prior to leaving for a road game at Birmingham , Alabama , of all places, backfield coast Ed Cody approached Sayers to pair him with Ronnie Bull, a Bears' running back. "Why Ronnie?" Gale asked, and Cody advised that it had been decided to room the backs together, regardless of the color of their skin. Gale knew it was an important and courageous step by the Bears, pairing a Black and White player in the same room and was not opposed, though he responded, "Okay, but give me Piccolo."[x] Brian was never consulted on the decision, the first he knew of the room arrangement was when he entered his assigned room to find Gayle Sayers.

Perhaps too much is made of the fact that Sayers and Piccolo were the first professional football players Black and White to share a room. The REAL story of the two men is that they became close friends, sharing good times and helping each other through difficult times.

Coach Halas retired after the end of the '67 season and the following year got off to a bad start, the Bears posting a 1-4 record going into the sixth game. Sayers and Piccolo had become so close that Pic could instinctively tell when the starter needed a break. In 1967 when Sayers came off the field after a series Pic would ask him if he needed a break. If Sayers replied that he did Pic would pass word on to Ed Cody on the sidelines, who then passed word to Coach Halas, who in turn would tell Pic to relieve Sayers. It was the long way of doing things. In 1968 the two men knew each other so well that Pic could read the need for a "blow" in Gale's eyes, and the two simply substituted on their own with the coaches' blessing.

The system worked well until the ninth game of the season when, rushing against the 49ers defense, Sayers' knee buckled after a clean but crushing hit by Kermit Alexander. It might well have proven to be a career ending injury and Sayers was personally devastated. While Piccolo rose to the challenge with his best year as a pro, catching 14 passes for 291 yards and rushing 123 times for 450 yards and two touchdowns, he also devoted himself to buoying up his friend, Gayle Sayers. It was the positive attitude, the determination and patience of Brian Piccolo more than any other factor that enabled Sayers to recover and return in 1969 to rush a career high 236 times for 1,032 times.

In a summer game against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970 during a kickoff, Sayers was severely injured again, this time damaging his left knee. For all intents and purposes his career was over. He only played two games in the 1970 season gaining 52 yards on the ground and, despite a valiant effort to return in 1971 he again only played two games, adding 38 yards to end his career with 4,956 rushing yards on nearly 1000 carries and 1,307 yards receiving. But long before it became evident that the Kansas Comet would be unable to recover from that devastating second injury, he was to face an even worse tragedy.

After the injury to Sayers in the 1968 season Piccolo moved from back-up to starter but, having cheered and helped his friend to recovery he gladly returned to a back-up position in 1969 when Sayers returned. Early in that season he began developing a cough and, following a fourth-quarter touchdown against Atlanta on November 16 he took himself out of the game because of chest pains and a persistent cough. Two days later a chest X-ray revealed a tumor in his lungs. When the malignant tumor was removed on November 28 the doctors found that the cancer had spread. Despite this, Piccolo valiantly announced he would return to play for the Bears and the team confirmed it two weeks after that surgery in a press conference. Brian began chemotherapy treatment but as his health continued to fail, on April 9, 1970 his left lung and left breast were surgically removed.

Late in May Gale Sayers flew to New York to attend the Professional Football Writers annual dinner where he was to receive the George S. Halas award as the most courageous player in pro football for his own stunning comeback after the first injury to his knee. It was one of those rare moments when the quiet, self-conscious star spoke more than a few words. Standing before a room of men, many of whom were the toughest football players and veterans one could gather, he told them about his friend, Brian Piccolo:

"He has the heart of a giant, that rare form of courage that allows him to kid himself and his opponent, cancer. He has the mental attitude that makes me proud to have a friend who spells out the word 'courage' twenty-four hours a day of his life. You flatter me by giving me this award, but I tell you that I accept it for Brian Piccolo. It is mine tonight, it is Brian Piccolo's tomorrow…I love Brian Piccolo, and I'd like all of you to love him too. Tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him."

There was not a dry eye in the room. Indeed years later when the film showed across America, all who heard Gale's simple but profound tribute to a friend were moved to tears. In far away places like Korea where tough American soldiers saw the story of those two men and heard those words, tears could not be restrained and attitudes were changed. Upon returning home to Chicago Gale and Linda went to visit Pic in the hospital. It was a brief but emotional experience and was the last time the two would speak. Brian and Joy went to Atlanta to visit their daughters, who were living with relatives, and Sayers was admitted to the hospital for surgery on his left knee that had been injured at the start of the previous season. He was still in the hospital on June 16, 1970 , when Joy called to tell him that Brian had passed away.

Gayle Sayers may well be the greatest running back in the history of football. The statistics from his 7-year career are certainly impressive enough. He played in four Pro Bowls and was named Offensive Player of the Game in four of them. When he was unanimously selected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year in which he was eligible, at age 34 he was the youngest player ever enshrined.

Perhaps however, his greatest accomplishment was the 1970 autobiography he wrote to tell the story of his friendship with Brian Piccolo. Titled "I am Third," it was the basis for the 1970 movie Brian's Song, starring James Caan (as Piccolo) and Billy Dee Williams (as Sayers). The immediately popular true story was released in a 2001 remake.

The strange title of Sayer's autobiography found its roots in the mantra of his college track coach Bill Easton. The phrase so stuck in Sayer's mind that, after asking Coach Easton to explain it, he created and thereafter wore a gold medallion with the words engraved on the back. Coach Easton's explanation: "The Lord is first, my friends are second, and I am Third."

Said Gale, "If you think about it, it is a good philosophy of life. I try to live by it."[xi]

* Joe Namath was named the AFL Rookie of the Year

[i] Morris, Jeannie, Brian Piccolo-A Short Season, Rand McNalley & Company, Chicago, 1971

[ii] ibid, p 70.

[iii] Ibid, p 75.

[iv] Wake Forest Magazine, July 1970

[v] Morris, Jeannie, ibid, p 85.

[vi] Sayers, Gale, I Am Third, Viking Press, 1970, p 92.

[vii] Ibid, p 107.

[viii] Ibid, p 139.

[ix] Morris, Jeannie, ibid, p 89.

[x] Ibid, p 130.

[xi] Sayers, Gale, ibid, p 41 - 42.


The Defining Generation: Copyright 2006 by Doug and Pam Sterner
All Rights Reserved


Cover & Introduction
Out With the Old
     The Defining Generation

I. - Defining the New
     John Fitzgerald Kennedy
     Roger H.C. Donlon
     Robert Robin Moore
     Barry Sadler
     The Green Beret

II. - Defining Equality
     When Worlds Collide
     Dr. Martin Luther King
     Jimmy Stanford & Vince Yrineo
     Milton Lee Olive, III
     Specialist Lawrence Joel
     Sammy Lee Davis
     Black MOH Recipients - Vietnam War

III. - Defining the Role of the Sexes
     Evolution of a Husband
     Remember the Ladies
     Rosie the Riveter
     Dr. Marguerite Guzman Bouvard
     Linda G. Alvarado
     Karen Irene Offutt
     Women in Military Service
     Lieutenant General Carol Mutter
     The Modern Woman in Combat
IV. - Defining Human Rights
     My Brother's Keeper
     Who is My Brother
     Christopher Dodd & Christopher Shays
     Peace Corps Politicians (Memories)
     Don Bendell
     Sir Edward Artis
     General Colin L. Powell

V. - Defining Entertainment
     Life Imitating Art
     Troubled Waters
     Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
     Brian's Song
     All in the Family
     Adrian Cronauer

VI. - Defining Dissent

     From Berkeley With Love
     The Pen and the Sword
     General David Shoup
     Muhammad Ali
     John Forbes Kerry

VII. - Defining the Future of Politics
     An Act of Congress
     All Politics is....Hereditary?
     Hillary Rodham Clinton
     Condoleezza Rice
     James Henry Webb
The next Section is scheduled for posting on May 20, 2011
VIII. - Defining Memories
     Jaime Pacheco
     The Glory of their Deeds
     Jan Scruggs
     Delbert Schmeling
     Peter C. Lemon

The authors extend our thanks to the following who granted personal interviews for this work
: Roger Donlon (MOH), Robin Moore, Don Bendell, Jimmy Stanford, Vince Yrineo, Sammy L. Davis (MOH), Linda Alvarado, Karen Offutt, Lieutenant General Carol Mutter, Sir Edward Artis, General Colin L. Powell, Katharine Houghton, Adrian Cronauer, Jan Scruggs, Delbert Schmeling, and Peter Lemon (MOH).
Our thanks to the staff of the following who either wrote or allowed reprint of their own works for this book: Dr. Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, Don Bendell, Congressman Sam Farr, Congressman Thomas Petri, Congressman Mike Honda, Congressman Jim Walsh, Governor Jim Doyle, and Scott Baron.
Our special thanks also to the staff of the following who provided information and fact-checked the chapters related to their subject: Staff of Senator John Kerry, Staff of (then) Senator Hillary Clinton, Staff of Senator Jim Webb
A SPECIAL THANKS also to Dr. Marguerite Guzman Bouvard for his assistance in writing and editing the entire section on the Role of the Sexes.


Copyright 1999-2014 by
2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003
Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

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How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes

Brevet Medal


Navy Cross 

Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine

Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

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Quick Quiz

Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out


This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public! now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.