Yesterday marked the passing of John Glenn - fighter pilot, astronaut, senator and by any standard, a true American hero. He left behind the love of his life, Annie, a woman whose bravery he said exceeded his own.
Annie suffered with such a severe stutter that she was unable to do such simple things as grocery shopping, or taking a taxi by herself. Finally, at the age of 53, she found an intensive new program that cured her affliction, and she became an adjunct professor with the Speech Pathology Department at Ohio State University’s Department of Speech and Hearing Science, and a spokesperson for the disabled.
She received the first national award of the American Speech and Hearing Association for “providing an inspiring model for people with communicative disorders.”
As John Glenn once wrote of her: “It takes guts to operate with a disability. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do all the things that Annie did so well.”
“We tend to think of heroes as being those who are well known,” he wrote, “but America is made up of a whole nation of heroes who face problems that are very difficult, and their courage remains largely unsung. Millions of individuals are heroes in their own right.”
“In my book, Annie is one of those heroes.”