WWII Veterans

WWII Veterans

This is a discussion on WWII Veterans within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; The wife and I were out and about yesterday morning and ate breakfast at one of the local eateries. As we were being seated there ...

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    WWII Veterans

    The wife and I were out and about yesterday morning and ate breakfast at one of the local eateries. As we were being seated there were three persons being seated right behind us in the booth next to us, an older couple and a man about my age. The older gentleman was facing me and I noticed he was wearing a ball cap with "WWII Veteran" embroidered on it. My wife and I finished eating before they did and I told my wife I was going to stop and chat with them as we left. When I stood up, I was able to see the other man, and he had a Viet Nam Veteran - Army ball cap on. I found out he was the couple's son and the older gentleman had been in the Navy during WWII. There are fewer and fewer of these WWII veterans left. Our local newspaper has been running a personal interest series on veterans for the last year or so and most of the stories of WWII veterans have been told by their surviving children, often from looking at things that had been saved but never talked about. It was my good fortune and pleasure to talk briefly with this WWII veteran and I appreciated the opportunity. There are fewer and fewer of the WWII vets around as most of them are in their 90's now. Don't pass up the chance to talk with them if you get the chance.
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    Senior Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Agree, Guys my father's age are few and far between.
    Soon we will be saying the same of our Korean War vets.
    We have a little cafe here in town called Poor Richard's and every Vets and memorial Day they have all the flags and banners from all the different services hung up.
    Dozens of these big flags hanging all over. They make a big deal of any vet who comes in and the place is filled with them.
    One of my favorite days to go there, the company is great.
    And yes, they do enjoy the attention.
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    My father served in WW2, Pacific Theater. He was born in 1918, so if still alive today he would be 101 years old.

    My older brother served in Korea, 1953. He passed away last year at 85 years old.

    There are still a few WW2 vets around. At my club we have 4, all of whom are in assisted living facilities. When we are holding functions, like our annual Veterans Day barbecue, several of us go around with a van and pick up the ones who can attend and take them home afterward. One still comes in weekly to play poker with us, his daughter drives him and picks him up. Occasionally a nurse will warn us about alcoholic beverages, which makes sense with some medications, but I always figured if a 90-odd year old veteran wants a beer I will get him one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KILTED COWBOY View Post
    Agree, Guys my father's age are few and far between.
    Soon we will be saying the same of our Korean War vets.
    We have a little cafe here in town called Poor Richard's and every Vets and memorial Day they have all the flags and banners from all the different services hung up.
    Dozens of these big flags hanging all over. They make a big deal of any vet who comes in and the place is filled with them.
    One of my favorite days to go there, the company is great.
    And yes, they do enjoy the attention.
    I did not know Poor Richards did that and I live right across the street from them here in Plano. I have been there before and the food was pretty good. Probably should have stopped by as I am a Desert Shield/Storm vet.

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    I was inside the local Burger King a couple of years ago when this older couple came in. The gentleman stumbled and, I reached out to steady him. His wife said something about him not having his cane...I said naw, there was a slight wet spot on the floor. He gave me a look that said Thank You! That was when I noticed his U.S.S. HORNET ball cap. He was pleasantly surprised that I knew about the Doolittle Raid that launched from the Hornet. He got that faraway look in his eyes as he thought about that and I swear he stood straighter and looked 20 years younger as he talked about watching that flight launch.
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    Those of us who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Horn of Africa have no idea what sacrifice was like back then. You didn't do a 12 month rotation in WWII, you were gone for the duration. You may have left a pregnant wife but came back to a three year old son. Our SOF rotations were shorter but more frequent (typically 3 months or 6 months). We have no idea about their sacrifice. WWII veterans amaze me.
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    The greatest aspect of my residency was working with WWII vets when I spent a years rotation at the VAMC Nursing Home unit. Back then we had 150+ WWII vets in house. Got to talk with them at length daily.
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    Talked with a friend who is a Vietnam Vet. His Dad was in the Pacific during WWII and very rarely talks of his service.
    They were watching TV when an ad for the movie Midway came on. His Dad said he didn't need a movie, all he needs is to close his eyes.
    This is the first that he knew his Dad had been on Midway.
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    Just spent the morning with my dad. He's a Navy World War II veteran, serving on a Patrol Craft Escort. All my life I've loved to hear his Navy stories. I ask him to relate them again from time to time. Still pick up tidbits I never heard before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Just spent the morning with my dad. He's a Navy World War II veteran, serving on a Patrol Craft Escort. All my life I've loved to here his Navy stories. I ask him to relate them again from time to time. Still pick up tidbits I never heard before.
    You should be recording those stories, Bryan, that's history from a man who lived it.
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    Yeah. I have a few written down. Ought to do more. Our youngest son got him going just a few days after my mother passed away and recorded it without my dad realizing it. That's pretty cool too.

    I have noticed that some details that he once related have slipped away in more recent times and when I ask him about them he says he doesn't remember.

    I ought to learn usage too, like using "here" for "hear."
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    You should be recording those stories, Bryan, that's history from a man who lived it.
    I agree with OD. There are so many historical memories that should somehow be preserved. Much of our actual history has disappeared......some of it due to revisionists, and some of it because no one is preserving and sharing it. What a shame.....

    Happy that at least a son is hearing it from his father....
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Our youngest son got him going just a few days after my mother passed away and recorded it without my dad realizing it. That's pretty cool too..
    Indeed it is!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    You should be recording those stories, Bryan, that's history from a man who lived it.
    ^^^^THIS Do everything in your power to record everything you can about these amazing men and women.

    During Desert Shield, when I was offered a commission and felt I was too old for active duty, I volunteered to serve the Army and Navy (Marines) because I had heard they were so critically short of chaplains to work with the Casualty Notification Teams in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. I'm still on their rolls, but I haven't gotten a call in five or six years. That was a humbling experience.

    In any event, I was honored during that time to be called upon to conduct a funeral for a USMC WWII veteran. When I met with the family, I learned he was not just a vet, but was a Medal of Honor Recipient for his actions on Iwo Jima. All the funerals I did were always special, but that one has stuck in my mind like it was just yesterday. There is no way we can ever repay our veterans for their service to this great nation.

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    Thanks for that OldChap and a most sincere thanks for your service, very important it was too. I'd not be tough enough to work on a Casualty Notification Team.
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