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2020 Memorial Day

RicInOR

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Who do you have to remember?
Stories like the one below always concern me.

Of my dad and uncles, all served in WW2, all came home. My uncle Roy, oldest, went in on a deal - serve now and train up the new recruits then you'll be done. Ha. Army speak for being in London for the Blitz.
My day, youngest, never left the shores of the USA. He stayed in longer to help recover the Pacific fleet - they did their duty, least you can do is stay on and let them get home.
Army and Navy. No Marines. No Air Force in WW2 - but none were in the Air Corp either.

I have the draft announcement of my maternal Grandfather, but with the number of children and his age, he was never drafted.

Of that generation, only 3 remain - my mom, dad, and mom's sister. All are 90+




No family info on WW1.




 
OP
RicInOR

RicInOR

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Earlier Years
Military Stories

A Memorial Day Thank You

In honor of Memorial day - Post some pics from when you served

Memorial Day

Never Forgotten - Memorial Day


 

WAYNO

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My Dad and all my Uncles served in WWII. They all came home, but they struggled, and many died very prematurely.

My maternal Grandfather served in WWI and was burned terribly with mustard gas. He also struggled, but lasted longer than most. He died at 67.

The kids in my neighborhood growing up, they all had Dad's that were WWII Veteran's. And nearly all of them drank heavily.

A school friend of mine went to Vietnam in 1968. He was KIA. I remember receiving the news just like folks remember Kennedy and 9/11.


So...Many folks came home from the wars, but they didn't really come home.
 
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Andy54Hawken

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SFC Louis Buckley Jr.
21 May 1966 South Vietnam.

He is the soldier who is on my POW / MIA Bracelet...I got this bracelet when I enlisted in the army and have worn it everyday since.
It serves as reminder to me of just who I served and fought for.

Also something to consider :
In some households....Every day is Memorial Day.
Andy
 

sobo

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Who do you have to remember?
Who do I have to remember? Ooo, this could get long...

I know of none of my relatives that served in WWI. I do, however, know from a story that my Dad told me that my paternal grandfather Viktor was a draft-dodger and illegal immigrant of sorts. He received a postcard from Warsaw in mid-1914 informing him that he must leave Canada immediately and return to Poland to fight the Huns. Having just gotten married 6 months earlier to his mail-order bride (later to be my Gramma Sobo), he effectively said, "F#%$ that!" and crossed the lake from Canada into northern Minnesota to avoid going back to Europe and to war. My Grampa Viktor, a draft-dodger and illegal immigrant, all in one... :rolleyes:

Two of my Dad's older brothers served in WWII: my uncles Frank and Eddie...

Uncle Frank enlisted as soon as he turned 18 (in June '43) and served in Easy CO, 2nd BAT, 506th PIR, 101st AB Division. He was one of the Band of Brothers, and was "Shifty" Powers' spotter, Frank himself being a highly skilled hunter and marksmen from his recent youth in northern Minnesota. They took turns sniping Germans, but in the BoB HBO miniseries you only see Shifty, cuz Frank didn't want to have anything to do with it.

He entered combat in Normandy (although not in the D-Day jump) just days after his 19th birthday, jumped in Market Garden, was in the woods around Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and was at the Eagle's Nest when Germany surrendered. He was in Zell am See in Salzburg when the Japanese packed it in.

He survived the war but had migraines and nightmares virtually every day afterwards. He never spoke of his experiences, but a few years before he died he mentioned that the nightmares were of the young Germans he was forced to kill near the very end of the war when Hitler was sending out kids to fight for him. Uncle Frank shot himself just a month shy of his 92nd birthday, exactly 3 years ago today.

Most of the pics I have of him from back then won't load up here, even though they're JPGs, so I don't quite get that.
But here's a pic of Uncle Frank goofing around, and some of the signatures from the rest of the BoB that he served with:
Uncle Frank_ready for combat (signed).JPG IMG_2972.JPG

Uncle Eddie was a year and a half younger than Uncle Frank, but that didn't stop him from trying to enlist. Eddie was and still is a scrapper...

He tried as soon as the war started, but he had only just turned 15 (in Nov '41). He was turned down (obviously), but he kept trying. He finally figured out that the Marines would take him (after a few tries, that is). They finally did, when he was still a (very late) 16-year-old in the fall of 1943. They wouldn't put him in combat, so he served his hitch in the Marines on some sort of "attack transport" ship. Maybe some of you jarheads on here might know some more about that sort of stuff. He never saw actual combat per se, I guess cuz everyone on board knew he was underage (until November of '44, when he finally turned 18).

Here's a clandestine pic of Uncle Eddie (on R) at his place when Dad (on L) and I went up to International Falls, MN for Frank's funeral in 2017. To this day, he won't let anyone photograph him (knowingly) nor touch him. Lives by himself in northern Minnesota on 320 acres in the middle of nowhere, surrounded on three sides by water...
IMG_3017.JPG

On my Mom's side, only one uncle served in WWII. Uncle Stanley was a tail gunner on a B-17 that had the unenviable duty of daylight bombing raids over Germany. His plane was shot down on his third mission, and survivors that were able to bail out said that Stanley never made it out of the turret. He's buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery outside of Liege, Belgium.

We visited his grave when I was a kid and the family was living in Italy for an extended period of time. Being a young Boy Scout at the time, I asked the Honor Guard and was granted the privilege of holding the end of the American flag as it was being folded after Taps had sounded for the evening. My mother (RIP) was a total wreck and in tears, and I choke up whenever I think about that day. The Super-8 film that my Dad took of the flag folding was somehow lost or destroyed when it went off for processing. We never got back any of the film nor photos of our trip to Bastogne and Belgium...

Dad served in the Army during the Korean War, but was posted to Alaska with the Signal Corps and never saw combat.
My brother and I were both too young for Vietnam, but he was getting close when the war ended (17).
Nuthin' much was going on when I was of recruitment age, so I never joined. To not be a part of that cadre who served this nation is a regret that I carry to this day.

I wish to express my undying gratitude and sincere thanks to all of you veterans, past and present, that served, and for those that gave the last full measure to, this great country we call America.
 
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Lilhigbee

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If you have a Korean War Vet in your family or circle of friends get them a copy of the book, Korea Reborn; A Grateful Nation Honors Veterans for 60 Years of Growth. It is a very nice book published as a Thank You to Veterans. Copies are readily available on Amazon, etc. Every Korean Vet should have a copy, or at least the chance to read it. Then look into the Korea Revisit program where the Korean government will pay a significant portion of their expenses to visit Korea, as well as part of their travel companion's expenses.
Korea Revisit program. This may be the last year of this program.
 

Andy54Hawken

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If you have a Korean War Vet in your family or circle of friends get them a copy of the book, Korea Reborn; A Grateful Nation Honors Veterans for 60 Years of Growth. It is a very nice book published as a Thank You to Veterans. Copies are readily available on Amazon, etc. Every Korean Vet should have a copy, or at least the chance to read it. Then look into the Korea Revisit program where the Korean government will pay a significant portion of their expenses to visit Korea, as well as part of their travel companion's expenses.
Korea Revisit program. This may be the last year of this program.
My Dad served in Korea with the 1/9 Cavalry ( Post War ) But knew many Veterans of the War ....Thank you for the heads up on this.
Andy
 

Ura-Ki

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Freedom isn't free!
The summer of 1973 is forever seared into my mind, that summer I witnessed something so profound and moving that it forever cemented a sense of patriotism, honor and pride in me, And Fear! That summer day was warm and bright, and a young Ura-Ki was just getting ready to take his Bike for a spin up to the school to meet my buddies for some much needed out door time! As I was getting ready, an official Navy car pulled up in front of our neighbors house and two smartly dressed officers and a Chaplin got out! I yelled at Mom to come and see, thinking Oh Crap, NAVY car, Dads at Sea in the Pacific, something must be very wrong! We both stood there, my Mom very upset, shaking, crying, and unsure, Could they have the wrong house, Or? And then the Scream, I can tell you, you have never heard such a mournful scream until you have lost a solder! My Mom ran next door to help comfort our neighbor, secretly relieved that Navy car wasn't meant for us, but knowing that any day there could be a Navy car for her! Years later, My mom cried her eyes out when I enlisted, and she made me swear to come home to her, No matter what, COME HOME TO ME she made me promise! She cried the day My Father retired from the Navy, She cried the day each of my brothers and I completed our service, and she cried when her two Grand Sons enlisted, making them promise the same, no matter what, COME HOME TO ME! We have a "Solders Wall" here at my Dads house, started by my Great Great Grand mother so many years ago, there are 34 pictures and counting on that wall, and there are several folded flags! NEVER FORGET!
As to those remembered, there are many, but: John M Green, Petty Officer First Class, Chief Water Tender. Served aboard the U.S.S. New Mexico BB-40 1940-1946, Born 1912, died 1947 in Virginia!
 
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XoXSciFiGuy

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Hutch. I always remember Hutch. I published an article about him ten years ago at the now-defunct Newsvine site:

A Memorial Day Tribute: Hutch, A Better Man Than I

Well, I was in the Regular Army back in the Seventies, but I didn't see any action. In fact, I joined up the month after Saigon fell and never got past Missouri.

So, my service was pretty minimal.

Every Memorial Day I think about my old friend Hutch. He's gone now. We did a lot of things together like camping and fishing and hanging out in his garage. He didn't talk about himself much.

Hutch was a door gunner on a Huey for two tours in Vietnam. He never offered any details and I didn't ask.

I knew he'd been to 'Nam, but it was six or seven years before he told me how he got that Bronze Star I spotted by accident at his house. I had never seen it before, and I finally worked up the nerve to ask him about it. After he downed the greater part of a bottle of scotch while we sat out in his garage, he finally opened up a little. He had received the medal on his last tour.

Hutch and the crew had landed in an open field to pick up some soldiers who were under heavy mortar and machine-gun fire from the tree line. Several Hueys were already on the ground when they arrived. The incoming fire was tremendous. When Hutch saw a mortar shell explode about a hundred yards away, he also saw a guy fall to the ground where the shell hit. He left his weapon and ran out to pick the guy up.

When he got there, he discovered it was his best friend - they had joined up together. On their first tour in Vietnam they had served in the same unit. On Hutch's second tour, they had been separated. The guy had taken a hit to the legs. Hutch grabbed the guy by the armpits and dragged him toward the Huey. Bullets zipped past and mortar shells exploded everywhere.

About halfway to the Huey, one mortar shell dropped directly between the wounded man's legs. His friend was killed instantly, and a lot of him ended up on Hutch. But Hutch was almost untouched because his friend's body took most of the blast.

Hutch finished dragging him back to the Huey. Then he went back out and helped a few more guys aboard the chopper, before everyone made a quick exit.

Hutch was never the same after that. He told me that when he came home from Vietnam, people spit on him at the airport. He knocked the holy crap out of one of them and he landed in jail for a few days. He began drinking heavily and finally ended up as a Delayed-Stress case.

Hutch eventually found a steady girlfriend and they lived together for many years. She managed to keep him from going completely off the deep end. He was able to hold a good job, but he smoked three packs a day and drank a half bottle of liquor nearly every day. This finally brought him serious heart problems. He had his second heart attack in the mid-1980s while leaving his parents' house after a holiday dinner - and dropped dead right on their front doorstep. He was only 42 years old.

Every Memorial Day and Veterans' Day I think about him. If I'm out camping I fire off a few shots and say something.

Hutch told me once:

'The Fourth of July don't mean s__t to me. I mean, there's nothin' wrong with it. Barbecues, fireworks, and all that stuff. But Memorial Day. That's MY day.'

He was really a nice guy. No name on the Wall, he was just another 'unofficial' casualty of the war.
 

s1xty7

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My Dad was in the Navy during Vietnam. He worked one of the larger guns that used to fire VW sized shells miles away. They'd relay coordinates and he'd have to dial them in using the mechanical computer type control. He never talked much about the combat, but he always would share stories about being out and about of leave overseas. Like how a number of the guys would sleep in adult theaters because it was cheaper than getting a room and local kids would come cut the bottoms of their pockets and take their wallets while they slept. He told me about the time he was ordered to repaint his control room and he used different shades of Grey to make it more interesting and had to repaint the whole thing on inspection. Or another story about buying a BMW motorcycle unassembled in a crate while overseas. Him and a buddy assembled it on the docks when he got back and that was his primary mode of transportation. He took my mom all over the place on that thing: San Diego, Seattle, even San Francisco during the high point of the Haight-Ashbury days. The stories go on and on. He was a wild man back then and got into a fair amount of trouble during his time in service but still an honorable discharge and got his Juris Doctorate through a correspondence course while abroad ship.

During several of his stops overseas, he got tattoos. These were not the finest places with the best hygiene, and he eventually contracted Hepatitis C. When I was young, he drank heavily and howled at the moon. One of his service buddies lived only a few miles away and we would always go over to their house and they would play poker and drink and tell stories. He eventually calmed down and got a stable career, thanks to his Juris Doctorate, but the Hepatitis caught up to him. Treatment for years but finally got him 8 years ago. I think about him every day, including Memorial Day.

My sister and brother in law were both in the Air Force for 10 years. My BIL was a dentist and my sister was a medic. She used to work as an EMT during experimental aircraft flights. She watched a helicopter with a whole bunch of friends go down and had to try and put them back together but there was no way to.

I appreciate how much all veterans sacrafice for their country and our freedom. I can never quantify those feelings or convey them fully. So many have sacrafice so much for the life I lead today. I am forever grateful and humble for that.
 

bbbass

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My Dad was U.S. Navy during WWII... he never left San Diego, during the war. Did ok for himself thru the years, a good job with the phone company and a hard worker bringing home a paycheck. Died a few years ago at the age of 85.

My friend David Hess, an Army Pfc in Vietnam... his stories of how messed up things were really gave me chillz... totally Apocalypse Now stories long before the movie ever came out. Half Italian, half German... he struggled here at home... got hit by a truck while walking the side of the road near Ft. Knox and suffered a serious compound femur break... then a struggling artist in our home town of Pomona that liked to go out in the desert and shoot his M1 Carbine. Married a nice full Italian girl and a year later died in a solo car wreck under a bridge on a wet highway.

Our friend David Wright aka Argonaut, former Para-Rescue and full time scholar and enterpreneur. Lover of German rifles and European double rifles. Lost too soon to heart troubles from type 1 diabetes. RIP David!!!
 

cigars

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My dad was in the Signal Corps in WW2, stationed in China. His outfit was building weather stations in preparation for the invasion of Japan. Dad passed in '92. He is laid to rest in Willamette National cemetery. My mom is interred next to him.
Dave Saxon was a buddy of mine from Ft. Hood. We were roommates for about a year and we rode our motorcycles all around Central Texas. A couple of years ago he succumbed to the ultimate effects of PTSD. I miss him.
 

Andy54Hawken

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Names on a Wall...
58,276 names carved on a long granite line.
A stone sentinel honoring those who went , but never returned.

One dark grey Wall , a stark contrast to the life within those names .

I ask you to take a moment and remember those names , our names...

Because to be forgotten is to truly die.
Andy
 

ma96782

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Well, I haven't been out of the house in over a week. But today, I went to WinCo to stock up on some supplies.

THANK YOU VETs and THOSE WHO PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICE.

Aloha, Mark
 

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