Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Les Payne.

Les was born July 12, 1941 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He received a degree from University of Connecticut in 1964 and went on to serve in the Vietnam War during a tour with the Army.

After his time in the military, Les joined Newsday in 1969.

Les was part of the Newsday reporting team that created a 33-part series tracking heroin from growth in Turkey to being sold in America. “The Heroin Trail” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1974.

Les was a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

He retired in 2006, spending nearly four decades at Newsday and setting the standard for excellent journalism.

Les died Monday night at his home in Harlem.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Share this story

Published on Mar. 20, 2018

Estimated reading time is 1.1 min.

Views to date: 105

More Stories

  • Navy Veteran Calvin Leon Graham became the youngest World War II soldier at the age of 12, and the youngest recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Horace Poolaw, who became a well-known photographer of Native American life.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Deborah Jo Pereira, who enlisted in the military at a unique time in her life and in American history.