#veteranoftheday Fred McDade

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Fred McDade. Fred played for the Washington Senators when he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War.

Fred McDade had only played in the Major Leagues with the Washington Senators for 13 days when he was drafted into the Army. At first, he played baseball in Germany, but in 1967, he was assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry with orders to Vietnam.

McDade was severely injured after spending four months and 21 days in Vietnam. He was leading a convoy on a resupply mission when his Jeep was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, killing the driver. McDade lost sight in both eyes, and his right-leg was amputated. He earned the Purple Heart before being discharged.

When he returned home, McDade enrolled in school at Dalton Junior College, where he would become its first-ever blind graduate. He later earned a master’s degree at the University of Chattanooga.

Though he had trouble finding a job—being both blind and overeducated for most of the jobs he applied to—McDade eventually settled into counseling at-risk high school students. He is now retired and lives in Georgia.

Thank you for your service, Fred!

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? 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.


Editor: Ashley Levi

Fact Checker: Seng Hla

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Published on Jul. 18, 2019

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 300


  1. Norman F. Skipper July 21, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    I know Fred Mcdade personally, from his association with Operation Song Chattanooga, now Freedom Sings USA.
    I entered Fred’s name in this competition. Fred is one of the best men I know. He is humble and honest and everyone loves him. It’s an honor to know him. We were both in Vietnam about the same time, so we have that in common. He and Don Goodman and Steve Dean turned Fred’s story into a wonderful song called : “I See God.”
    Skip Skipper

  2. LAWRENCE DUNCAN July 19, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I am a decorated Viet Vet also. And I must say that as an American, you are entitled to your opinion- just as Kaepernick is. There are many roles to play and many forms of patriotism and heroism. You don’t get to decide- for everyone- which one is “true”.. Peace brother.

  3. Chad Childers July 18, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    What an awesome story! I am an ex army ranger that loves baseball! Wish Colin Kaepernick would see this article. This is what a true patriot and hero is made of!

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