Long known as the “Gem City,” Dayton’s true unpolished gem is its ongoing contribution to American freedom through support for the U.S. military. The city, its residents, and its businesses/industry have played key roles in numerous national defense and national pride initiatives, including, but not limited to, Wright Patterson Air Force Base’s aeromedical contributions to the American space program, Monsanto’s involvement in the Manhattan Project, NCR’s World War II manufacturing efforts and role in breaking the Enigma Code, Dayton’s status as ‘birthplace of aviation’ and all its subsequent military and civilian aerospace contributions, and, of course, the role of the sprawling Dayton VA campus as a birthplace of veteran’s medical care in the United States. However, these historic achievements don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what the Miami Valley has done and been . . . and what it can be again.