On Sept. 23, 2004, Sgt. 1st Class Otie J. McVey was medically evacuated from Baghdad. The 53-year-old Army reservist from Oak Hill, W.Va., was treated for an illness unrelated to combat. He never recovered and died the following November.
McVey's wife, Teresa, and his two sons, Joseph and Sean, talked about their loss in a May 22 interview at American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis. Joseph, a junior at West Virginia University in Morgantown, was awarded an American Legion Legacy Scholarship. His father served with the 706th Transportation Company in Kenton, Ohio.
Joseph aspires to make his mark in life as a civilian, while his younger brother wants to attend Virginia Military Institute and later become a military officer. Joseph, Sean and their mother all agree on the value of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship and the impact it has and will continue to have on their lives.
Any scholarship is an honor to receive. But the Legacy Scholarship is special because of its connection to so many people who have served in the military, the family says.
"College is very expensive," Teresa explains. "There is always something that needs to be purchased. And The American Legion Legacy Scholarship is a very welcome addition. It helps out a lot with expenses. And again, I say, what makes it so special is that it is tied to so many people who have the same type of military family background – people who have chosen to serve our country."
Joseph and Sean agree.
"All scholarships are nice, but it's the military connection that makes The American Legion Legacy Scholarship so different," Joseph says. "It's because of all the work that's been put into raising money by men and women who share a military experience. Military folks are used to looking out for each other. That's what is different about the Legacy Scholarship. That's why it is so special to me. It comes from people who have shared the same experiences as my dad."