Last month, I received an email from an Arcadia neighbor asking if we would be interested in sharing her husband’s story: that of a soldier who served in the United States Air Force for almost 30 years. 

Major Van Heywood fought over 120 battles as a jet pilot in the Vietnam War. His wife, Corinne, told me that Heywood was stationed in Thailand, where he and his fellow soldiers flew over North Vietnam in the F-105 Thunderchief. 

After I learned about the lingering effects of Heywood’s time in Thailand, I struggled with writing this…how to put into words what someone went through, all those years ago?

In the course of his service, Heywood was stationed in a hut near where the Agent Orange chemical was sprayed abundantly to control foliage. People didn’t know then how dangerous this was to humans. But Heywood does, since he later developed cancer and his kidneys started to shut down.

At the time of publication, Van is hospitalized and awaiting chemo. If I can do nothing else, I can honor Major Heywood by telling his story. 

On that note, don’t forget about Phoenix’s annual Veteran’s Day Parade on Thursday, November 11. The parade’s executive director said that patriotism should be aplenty at this year’s event, which has grown from its modest crowd in 1997 to 45,000 visitors that came out 2019.

Coming up on November 6 is the annual ACMNA Picnic, where neighbors can hang out and reconnect, grab a little something to eat, hear some live music and enjoy all of the beauty that this time of year offers.

Our Teachers We Love program is in full swing, and we’re ready to shower our neighborhood educators with love! Nominate your favorite teacher at

Happy November, and thank you for reading Arcadia News

— Mallory Gleich