Forty years ago, Kathy Henderson wrote a heartfelt and poignant tribute to a group of soldiers who undertook a bold mission to save American lives. Little did she know that she would have the opportunity to share her comments, published in the Raleigh News & Observer on January 28, 1981, with one of those soldiers who now lives right next door to Kathy and her husband here in Scotia Village.

The date of Kathy’s response in the People’s Forum offers a clue about the events that had inspired her to write to the editor. It began more than a year earlier when the U.S. embassy in Iran was overrun and more than 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, before being released on January 20, 1981. During the crisis, a rescue attempt was made to free the hostages by a team of special forces. Tragically, 8 soldiers lost their lives in the mission.

When the hostages were eventually released and returned home, there was much cause for celebration. But for Kathy, her thoughts turned also to the soldiers — the brave few who had put themselves in harm’s way. Although their mission was not successful, their bravery and commitment to their country was to be honored.

Kathy’s neighbor, retired U.S. Army sergeant major Dennis Wolfe, was a team leader on that mission. In Kathy’s blog, Kat’s Pause, she writes of how she came to realize the connection and the special conversation she and Dennis had this past February.

Read Kathy’s blog, “We Waited 40 Years for Yesterday’s Appointment,” to learn more about this inspiring story.


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