November 5, 2023

This week’s one hour radio broadcast is hosted by Dale Throneberry. Dale welcomes Dawn and Wendall Pelham to tell their son’s military service story. This will begin with a beautiful song “Larger Than Life” written by Dawn and Wendall and Operation Song artist Steve Williams.

Dr. Rebecca Grant, one of our most popular guests over the years, will enlighten us on the political and military events of today. You may have seen her on national news broadcasts but she shines brightest when speaking to the Veterans Radio audience!

Remembering John "Larger Than Life" and Dr. Rebecca Grant - November 5, 2023

Hosted by Dale Throneberry

Army SPC John Alexander Pelham

SPC John Alexander PelhamNovember 9, 1991 – February 12, 2014

In February 7, 2014 John’s last Facebook post was, “I can’t wait to play racquetball again.”

On February 12th, just five days later US Army Specialist John Alexander Pelham was killed from small arms fire in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Kapisa Province of Afghanistan.  He was 22 years old. 

Specialist Pelham earned several medals and commendations which include:

The Bronze Star, The Purple Heart, The Army Commendation Medal, The Joint Service Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. 

His military education includes Basic Combat Training, the Signal Analyst Course, the Basic Airborne Course, and the Combat Lifesaver Course.

Musical Collaboration with Operation Songwriter Steve Williams


“Larger than Life” LYRICS

Larger Than Life

When you’re more than a memory
More than a smile
More than a soldier man
Rank and file
When you’re more than a mission
Giving your all
More than a picture
Or a plague on the wall

When you’re larger than life
You’re more than a name
Seven years can go by and
Still you remain
They can lay you to rest
But no matter where you lay
They say you’re bigger than death
When you’re larger than life

When you’re more than a specialist
Medals and stars
When you’re more than a brave soul
A rare “purple heart”
More than 22 years
2 tours of combat
John Pelham you’re more than
A flag at half staff


Driving down heroes highway
Brought a tear to my eyes you know
What they say sure is right
You’re bigger than death
When you’re larger than life


John has five (5) siblings: two sisters – Taylor (42) and Lyndsey (40) and three brothers – Wendall III (37), Shaun (29), Dylan (25).

This photo is John’s family. From left to right:

Back row: Wendall (with Hat), Shaun, Dylan, Corey Lederer (Lyndsey’s Husband, our son in law), Wendall II (Dad).
Middle: Adrianne (Wendall III’s wife, our Daughter in law), Dawn ( My wife, Mother of this clan), Catherine (Granddaughter sitting on Dawn’s lap), Lyndsey, Granddaughter Margaret sitting on Lyndsey’s lap, Taylor, sitting on Taylor’s lap is Granddaughter Cadence, sitting in front of Taylor is Granddaughter Halle.

Pelham Family

John is buried at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. The photo at the cemetery was taken in 2017.

Song written and recorded by Steve Williams, an Operation Song artist.

Apologies for the YouTube icon covering Dawn’s Smiling Face

Brookings Foreign Policy Air Power with Rebecca Grant and Tom Ehrhard


Air Force Modernization, Strategy, and Budget

Photo from archives

Insights on Political and Military Powers Today with Dr. Grant 

Dr. Rebecca Grant is a national security analyst based in Washington, DC.  She earned her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics at age 25 then worked for RAND and on the staff of the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. 

Since founding IRIS Independent Research, she has specialized in research for government and aerospace industry clients ranging from analysis of military campaigns to projects on major technology acqusition such as the B-21 bomber. 

Dr. Grant has written over 100 articles for Air Force Magazine and appears regularly on the Smithsonian Channel, Fox News, CNN,  Veterans Radio and other media outlets talking about airpower and national security. 

She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and daughter and spends her leisure time with Thoroughbred ex-racehorses off the track.   She has flown with the United States Air Force in the T-38, E-3 AWACS, B-52, F-16 Aggressors, F-15 in Exercise Cope North and in the B-2 Spirit bomber.  

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