Major General Sid Shachnow was more than a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran–receiving two silver and three bronze stars with V for Valor. He survived a crucible far crueler than the jungles of Vietnam: Nazi occupied Eastern Europe. As a child, he spent three years in the notorious Kovno Concentration Camp.
But his next journey took him to America, where he worked his way through school and eventually enlisted in the US Army. He volunteered for U.S. Special Forces, and served proudly for 32 years. His driving dream was to save others from the indignities he had endured and the deadly fate he so narrowly escaped.
From Vietnam to the Mideast, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sid Shachow served in Special Operations. He grew as Special Forces grew, rising to major-general–responsible for American Special Forces everywhere–but the lessons of Kovno stayed with him, wherever he turned, wherever he soldiered.
The will to live–so painfully refined in the fires of that long-ago death camp–forged, in the end, into truth of soul and wisdom of the heart.