CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The vet/janitor with the Medal of Honor

NEWNAN, GA — The Veterans Day program at Madras Middle School featured Texas Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Donald Harvel telling an inspirational story about a janitor, according to the Times-Herald.

The late Bill Crawford took great pride in his work cleaning Air Force Academy dormitories, but cadets considered him "just an older gentleman with a crooked smile and a shuffle in his step who, aside from an occasional nod of acknowledgment, faded into the background," the story stated.

Then cadets found out the rest of the story — as an Army private, Crawford took out three machine gun nests on September 14, 1943, near Altavilla, Italy, was seriously wounded, and held prisoner by the Germans for 18 months, the story noted.

Crawford had been presumed dead, and the Congressional Medal of Honor had been given to his father, the story added.

When cadets asked Crawford why he didn't tell them about his Medal of Honor, he humbly replied: "It was one day a long time ago. I didn't think it was that big a deal."

Harvel told the schoolchildren: "Be cautious of labels. After all, Bill Crawford was just a janitor. Don't sell your people short. Any one of them may rise to the occasion when duty calls."

Click here to read Crawford's Wikipedia entry and Medal of Honor citation.



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