His Storied Life: James Wiley, Tuskegee Airman and American War Hero

This was our first date. Even so, the stories swirled around us. I suppose, as older singles, there was a lot of life for Bill and me to draw from. We sat in the morning sun over coffee, exchanging snippets of our lives, honest achievements. Still, each of us was cautious not to expose too much. After all, we had met on Yahoo! Personals (later But, as the hours flowed into the afternoon, and as we moved from coffee to lunch, Bill put down his fork.

“My father was an American hero,” he said.

“What did he do?”

Bill just repeated, “Yes, my father was an American hero.”

I could see by his face he was hesitant to go on. He told me later he was someone who wished to live on his own merits. But I would not let things go, so Bill finally relented.

“My father was a Tuskegee Airman.”