Last March, while “Doc” Ballard was in Washington, DC honoring two heroes from Missouri, his business Swan Lake Memorial Park in Grain Valley, MO was burglarized. Among the estimated $100,000 worth of belongings that were stolen was $25,000 that was to be used for caskets and burial markers for vets, his Medal of Honor ring and a lifetime of collected coins.
Col. Don “Doc” Ballard is the only living Medal of Honor recipient from Missouri. Col. Ballard served in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman Second Class and was presented the Medal of Honor in 1970 by President Richard Nixon for his service in Vietnam. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Medal of Honor Society and works closely with Forgotten Veterans, to whom the $25,000 was to be donated. He also works with the National Combat Medical Memorial & Youth Education Center that helps with burials for veterans and funds various things for the Boy Scouts of America including camping and educational excursions.
When I spoke with Jody Madaras of All Hands on Deck he recounted the events of the burglary and stated: “we decided that, maybe in some small way, All Hands on Deck could help replenish what was stolen from Doc and his non-profit business by doing one of our shows as a fundraiser.” He also went on to speak kindly of Col. Ballard and referred to him as a “powerful speaker and a Real American hero.”
Come to the Dutton Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 7th at 10 am and enjoy Branson’s only All-American 1942 inspired roadshow & radio Broadcast production, All Hands on Deck. Created by and starring veteran of the Broadway stage, Jody Madaras, this show pays homage to our nation as it was in 1942; a time when all stood united — proud and patriotic — and our ‘stars’ were bigger-than-life artists like Bob Hope; performers who entertained those of us on the home front while touring abroad to prop up the spirits of our soldiers on the frontlines.
Col. Don “Doc” Ballard will be attending this very special performance so be sure to stop by and speak with him, get an autograph and take a photo with him. You can learn all about the work that he has been doing and read his heroic story for yourself by giving a donation for one of his books, which he will certainly have on hand.
Make sure to keep an eye out for people standing by the doors with helmets and participate in the fun of “Fill The Helmet” with donations that will go to “Doc” also. What a better way to spend your morning than by helping out an American hero that quite literally threw himself on a grenade to protect others.