The day before

This is a discussion on The day before within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; 69 years ago today: my late friend J.W. was doing final checks on his gear and contemplating the next few hours. J.W. was a Pathfinder ...

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Thread: The day before

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    Member Array latentcarry's Avatar
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    The day before

    69 years ago today: my late friend J.W. was doing final checks on his gear and contemplating the next few hours. J.W. was a Pathfinder and in a few hours would be one of the first 200 boots on the ground in Normandy. Strangely, he considered himself lucky to have been one of the first few because his jump was a surprise and he always felt sorrow for the men that came after him. He did his part but didn't end up anywhere near his jump area. Said all he did was jump out of a plane into a pond.
    Hmmmm, over your head in water with about 200 lbs of equipment strapped all over you, he never said a lot about that part. Like many who participated in the invasion of " Fortress Europe", J.W. was badly wounded later but survived, came home, raised a family, and lived his life.
    I was lucky to have known many of his generation who fought all over the world but today I'm going to raise a glass to these whose world changed 69 years ago tonight.
    They took a giant step into the darkness, with hope but little idea what would happen in the next few hours or what the outcome would be but they took the step anyway.
    If you know a WW2 veteran. Shake his or her hand and thank em.

    J.W. Here's to you and those like you; you truly were the greatest generation.
    niks, PEF, welder516 and 9 others like this.

    "MOLON LABE"
    "come and take them"
    King Leonidas of Sparta

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    Distinguished Member Array Glock2201's Avatar
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    Great post

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    Distinguished Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    Here Here. Let's raise a toast to the greatest generation and the warrior and patriot mentality that made our way of life possible.
    The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
    -- Steven Wright
    1950 Colt .38 Police Positive Special
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    My mom had the nickname "Rivet Annie". As a teenager, she helped assemble bombers for WWII. She later served in the Red Cross as a nurse and part of the USAF wives during Korea and Vietnam eras and traveled with my dad who was, at the time of the Korean war, a USAF bomber pilot. He never has said what he did though some conversations allude to surveillance and I suspect some nuclear payloads. I know he flew B-36's, B-47s and B-52's. I know the 52 can and did (does) carry nuke payloads. The 47's could and did carry nukes as well and some had radiation fallout detection equipment added during the Korean war era to monitor soviet tests. All of which were part of the air base ops on Okinawa. But, he keeps the details to himself, still to this day. My earliest memories are on Okinawa where dad was stationed and I began kindergarten and I remember mom hearing bombers fly over saying something like "Wave to your dad". Like he could ever see me but hey, I was a kid :)

    Mom has since passed on. Dad still is alive and kicking. In fact I am headed down to see him in the next few weeks.
    msgt/ret, welder516 and JoJoGunn like this.

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    That generation can never be replaced. My Thanks and gratitude go to all of them still living, and I hope that those who have passed are resting in the arms of the Lord.
    NONAME762 likes this.
    Cape Locum Et Fac Vestigium

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    The older I got, the greater the respect I had for my WWII Seabee dad. Tom Brokaw got it right with "The Greatest Generation."
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Amen to all . And a big Thank You.

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    Member Array latentcarry's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Funny that we knew a lot of em and we never even knew what they did till after they were gone. Talk to one ...get his story and pass it on.

    "MOLON LABE"
    "come and take them"
    King Leonidas of Sparta

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    Member Array Wolfiesden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by latentcarry View Post
    Thanks guys. Funny that we knew a lot of em and we never even knew what they did till after they were gone. Talk to one ...get his story and pass it on.
    Its not just "his" story. While most will remember the men overseas, who will remember the women back here building tanks, planes and jeeps. Women who learned to cut metal, weld, fabricate bombs, load ammo and run a hammer press? Just who was assembling weapons for those men to fire? They assembled a great amount of the ammo and other munitions that those men needed to stay alive and do their job. Rationing and scrimping and saving so the country had sufficient raw materials. Who will remember the women nurses who were over there too? If not for some of those nurses, a lot of those men would have never come home alive. And many of those women performed under fire just as the men did. Do they not deserve our memory and respect too?

    Do these women not deserve respect and memory as well?

    Without them, those men we remember would have had no ammo, no bombs, no tanks to protect them, no planes to drop bombs from and no shops to get to Europe in or to bring the constant stream of supplies they needed.

    Lets us not forget there were two parties to winning the war. Those who fired the bullets who everyone wants to remember, and those who made the bullet for them to fire who many seem to have forgotten. If you are going to remember one, you must remember the other. Without either, we would all be speaking German or Japanese today and we would not be having this lively conversation.

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