Restoring My Father's Honor: A Son's Crusade
David E. Stanley
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Master Sgt. William (Bill) J. Stanley had only known victory in his 17 years of military service. From the bloody beaches of Normandy France to the carnage of the Korean War, Bill was a combat soldier who exemplified honor and courage. But the day came, at the height of the Cold War in 1958, when Bill would face a battle waged not with guns, tanks and military might; but with greed, power and money. In what would be a chance encounter, Vernon Presley, Elvis Presley's recently widowed father, entered a local German Club and took the table next to Bill and Dee. Unaware of the man s identity, Bill noticed he was an American and struck up a light conversation that soon developed into a fast friendship. Handsome and charming, Vernon quickly gained Bill s trust and used their friendship to get close to his star-struck wife, Dee. Unknown to Bill, Vernon and Dee soon began to pursue a secret love affair while Bill was out on maneuvers with his troops. Their affair escalated at a torrid pace, leading to a web of deceit and betrayal. In 1960, Dee divorced Bill and married Vernon, taking his three boys out of Bill s life forever. The nuptials made headlines across the country and around the world headlines that vindicated Bill and proved his story. But it was too late, the damage was done. Bill had lost his marriage, his boys, his pension and the honor of the country he had fought so passionately for nearly twenty years to defend. In the span of just two years, 1958 to1960, this once proud military warrior and dedicated family man was reduced from combat hero to a broken individual, left with nothing more than heartbreak and the memory of the only battle he ever lost. Since 1960, the years have seen the deaths of Elvis and Vernon Presley. Bill Stanley died in 1991 without a military funeral and without honors. The contributions he made toward securing the freedoms of America were seemingly forgotten... until now.