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Jan Scruggs, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Photo, LBJ Museum.

Soldier of Fortune Launches Advisory Committee: Meet Jan Scruggs, Founder of The Wall

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Note from publisher Susan Katz Keating: Today marks the launch of a new development at Soldier of Fortune: the addition of an Advisory Committee. When I first sought to form this board, I approached people I trust and admire, and who I have known over the years. I came up with a group I think of as SOF’s very own Magnificent Seven. They all are veterans who have made significant marks in the military milieu. They are doers and thinkers, and much respected. It is only fitting that I kick things off with the person I have known the longest, stemming from my days as a reporter at The Washington Times. Herewith Jan Scruggs, otherwise known as the man who founded The Wall. Take it away, Jan…

by Jan Scruggs

For decades, the journalists of Soldier of Fortune magazine have taken risks to bring conflicts overseas to American readers, traveling to forgotten places and reporting from the front. Their unique style of immersive journalism has always been unique. And they have benefited from warriors turned reporters such as the late David Hackworth, who are unafraid to get shot at to bring the reality of small wars, proxy wars and major wars to its pages.

I and others on the Advisory Committee are excited to see this unique publication reborn with a type of coverage that combat veterans have always known to be truthful and dynamic about dangerous activities worldwide.

Where else can you read about Ukraine’s PARM 2 anti tank mine from a reporter who perhaps saw one hours before finishing his article? Or on scene there with a Howitzer? Interested in learning about the surgeons who rebuilt the face of a Mexican drug lord?

Read the new SOF, which is being brought back to life by Susan Katz Keating, a tough and respected investigative journalist. She has been under fire in urban combat and in the tough world of journalism, and I salute her courage and audacity.

SOF is back! Thanks, Susan!

The Wall at sunrise

About Jan Scruggs

Jan Scruggs is best known for being the founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Scruggs served as a corporal in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, and upon completion of his service attended American University in Washington, D.C where he obtained a master’s degree in counseling.

During the course of graduate studies, Scruggs testified before Congress on PTSD.  Flowing from that he came up with the idea of a memorial to honor the veterans of the Vietnam War, engraved with the names of the fallen.  He began the effort began with $2,800 of his own money in 1979. The memorial was dedicated in November 1982.  There are now Five Million Annual visitors to “The Wall” which also led to other Memorials on the Mall to remember WW2, Korea and Desert Storm.

Jan Scruggs

Scruggs is now semiretired in Annapolis Maryland. He is a motivational speaker, podcaster, attorney and author of books and articles dealing with the Vietnam War. “To Heal A Nation” was an NBC Movie of the Week in 1988, depicting the high drama to get The Wall built.

Jan was appointed Chair of the National Selective Service Appeals Board by President Obama. You can learn more about Jan Scruggs here, at his website.

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