I toured the Phoenix House today in Warren, Pennsylvania. It is a halfway house for men with drug and alcohol addiction. It is not connected to a county, or state, agency; but rather was started by what we refer to as an “extra mile American.” Jack Wells started the Phoenix House some 18 years ago because, simply, he saw a need. Since then, some 500 men have gone through the house and Wells estimates some 50% have stayed straight. Many have subsequently gone back to their families, have successful careers and are helping others get straight now too. When asked his motivation for starting the halfway house, Wells replied: “Did you ever save someone else’s life who was drowning?” After meeting with Wells, in honor of the 4th of July, I also met with a couple men who fought for freedom. Gary Seymour and Joby McAulay, both also from Warren, are Vietnam veterans. McAulay started the local chapter of Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. (VVnW) several years prior. He also spearheaded the drive to get “The Moving Wall” ( a 5/8th size replica of The Wall in D.C.) to come to Warren recently. He said in a town of 9,000, there were some 4,000 people for the opening ceremony. McAulay said for the five days The Wall was here, people came from all over and left pictures, bracelets, a bottle of a fallen comrade’s favorite beer… on the grass in front of the panel with that particular friend or loved one’s name on it. McAuley, who fought with the 4th Infantry, said in just one battle he lost “44 buddies.” There were a lot of tears those five days in Warren McAuley said, some of them his.