Local Veteran Writes Book on Stories of African American Men and Women Veterans
A veteran is now using his pen to spread the word about the contributions of African-American men and women who served in the military.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - - A veteran is now using his pen to spread the word about the contributions of African-American men and women who served in the military. Dr. Darrell Grisby spent nearly four years gathering research for his book. His book is called We Still Aim High - The African American Experience in the United States Air Force 1947 -2023. Grisby spent 25 years in the Air Force. He worked in the dental field using dental records to help identify bodies that were severely burned or disfigured. It took Grisby almost four years to write the book. Grisby’s research for the book emphasized to him the importance of writing it.
“What surprised me was the amount of contributions we had made that was really not told,” Veteran Dr. Darrell Grisby said. “I was in the Air Force for 25 years and I really did not know the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. It would only be in short blurbs in our information and our study materials.”
Grisby said part of his research he sent surveys to several veterans asking them about their experiences serving their country. He said he was glad to read the responses.
“Some of them were very short,” Grisby said. “And some of them were very long telling their stories. How they had to persevere through obvious discrimination - how they had to be educated at higher levels, just to be promoted with everyone else. And sometimes the frustration that they would have to go through knowing that what was happening to them was not right, but they still persevered.”
Grisby tells WBTV he also experienced some racial tension in the Air Force. But he doesn’t regret his time.
“Not at all,” he said. And that’s one of the things I detail in the book because the book is not a hit piece on the Air Force. I came in at 17 years old. I retired at 42. I became a man in the Air Force. I took advantage of every opportunity they provided me I was going to make it work for me as much as I was working for it.”
The veteran-turned-author says the Air Force allowed him to achieve five degrees. He is grateful for that accomplishment and wants people to know the stories that sometimes go forgotten. In the book, he mentions General Lloyd Fig Newton. He was the first African-American pilot in the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. He also mentions General Chappie James. He became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star general in the United States Armed Forces.
“I want our stories and our history to be more inclusive in our society.”
Grisbey says he would serve his country again. He now wishes he could get some of his relatives and others to join the military. He says that is becoming a challenge.
Grisbey ‘s book is on sale now.
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