My late father was a military and legal pioneer. He was a member of the first African American Armored Unit, 761st Tank Batallion, in US Army history serving under General George Patton during WWII. After 20 years of service he retired from the service and went to Law School at the University of Illinois. He was the first African American elected to county-wide office in Champaign County Illinois as State's Attorney and then became a US Attorney for a broad swath of downstate Illinois. Despite his upbringing in a segregated country my father embodied the best of the American Spirit.