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Veterans Day...

gmerkt

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We will be standing/sitting along the curb in Auburn at the big Veteran's Day Parade Saturday. One of my daughters and her family have started going with me. It's the only day of the year when I wear my Vietnam Veteran cap.
 
To all who have donned the uniform in service to this great nation, sacrificing, seeing and doing things that humans shouldn’t have to do, for suffering the wounds of war and the ridicule of an unthankful society at times...

May Father’s blessings be upon you all the days of your life, may He infill you with peace that transcends all knowledge and memories and bring the warmth of His love and the reassurance of His presence to your very soul.

Thank you for stepping up and doing what needed to be done, America owes a debt of gratitude to those who have faithfully served.

God Bless you and God Bless America!
 
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns of August fell silent. Armistice Day.

I recall an account from a Doughboy in the AEF that rumors of the cease fire had been circulating for a couple of weeks but no one was willing to believe it until night fell and camp fires lit without drawing artillery fire.

I certainly appreciate a day dedicated to all veterans, but I also think we loose something by melding days of remembrance. Time fades the collective memory as it is. Fewer and fewer people understand just how devastating and influential the Great War was. Time marches on, of course, and lessons of history are forgotten.
 
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gmerkt

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How time flies. And our relationship with it changes. I was a teenager in the 1960's. WW2 was "only" 20 years in the past. My parents still referred to it by saying things like, "during the war." It and the Depression had been seminal events for them. Then there was WW1 before that.

I had a childhood neighbor, John Hugo Engelbrecht. He had been an officer in WW1. In the 1960's, I used to think, "Wow, World War One, that was forty years ago. What a long time." Now, it's over a hundred years ago and I myself am an old man just like Mr. Engelbrecht was then.

Mr. Engelbrecht was recalled to active duty in WW2. I'm not sure what his duties were then but he had an aircraft recognition model of a P-61 Black Widow hanging in his garage. He had qualified as an aerial observer in WW1 and had worn those wings on his blouse. Unfortunately, I wasn't sufficiently aware of life yet at that time so I didn't ask enough questions. He did qualify for a reserve retirement and retired as a major. The US Army Reserve of the past wasn't as it is now. There was no incentive for enlisted men to join. I've read that the divisions alloted to the Organized Reserve (earlier name for the USAR) had fewer than 100 enlisted men in each of them. Officer retention was far less problematic, the difference in pay likely being a big part of it. Harry Truman was a reserve officer between the wars. Because Mr. Engelbrecht (in this context I guess I should say, Major Engelbrecht) later qualified for a pension, presumably he was an Officer Reserve Corps member between the wars as well.

Harry Truman as president was Commander in Chief and I wonder if this time was also folded into his reserve retirement. He was retired with the rank of colonel in 1953.

What is an "aerial observer"? In WW1, some of them were the guys who went up in tethered balloons to have a look around behind the enemy lines.

Money for defense was very tight between the world wars. It wasn't like today where there isn't much consideration given to the concept of budget. Drill pay for a major was over $10. Drill pay for a sergeant with eight years service was about $2. Enlisted pay was unchanged from 1922 until 1940. Equipment was old and not always in good repair. Facilities were often unavailable.

Membership in the Army National Guard was more popular. The various states provided facilities for their guard units. Which were often a source of social interaction and entertainment for members in times before electronics came along.
 
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On the 11th of November I'll be visiting two locations.

#1 is the the graveyard of Old St Swithuns church, Old Weston, Cambridgeshire, where the crew of a RCAF light bomber are buried.

DSC00089.JPG

Flt Sgt Robert O'Leary, aged 20, Sgt Norman Boyce, Flt Sgt Don Lindsey, aged 20, Sgt Robert Dobie, aged 20, the pilot.

Here is Don Lindsey in the middle -

1573122981956.png

Photo courtesy of his niece, Kathy Farr, of Guelph ON.

And then to The American Military Cemetery at Madingley, just outside Cambridge.

To remember -

1573123137510.png


who crashed fifteen minutes after taking off from RAF Attlebridge, Norfolk, in his B24 Liberator - Chris's Crate -

1573123335983.png


He has no grave except the North Sea.

And Corporal John D Foley Jnr, who has a grave Plot C, Row O, Grave #58.

And over in France, at the northern extension of the Templeux-le-Guerard military cemetery, my grandfather, D/9947 Pte William Victor Collins 6 DG, killed on the night of 21/22 June 1917 in a German barrage at Gonneville Farm, the Somme. Buried beside his pal who died with him.

...and all the others.
 
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Marine Airedale

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To all Veterans here on the forum...Thank you for your service.
You did a job , often far away from home and for little pay.

For those Veterans who have served in combat...
May you find the peace in life that you truly deserve.
Andy
Right back at you my friend! My wife and I both served, she in the Navy for six years and myself in the Marine Corps for eight. Unlike you neither of us served in combat. We were in just after Vietnam, 75-81 for her and 75-83 for me. My largest regret I have from my days are that I did not stay in longer. There were what I thought of at the time valid reasons for getting out (most a critical MOS which I could not get out of with very slow promotion). Never once considered swapping to another branch. Considering all of the Aviation schools I attended were Navy schools. If I had known even a small amount of what I know about the military now it would have been a lot different.
 

bbbass

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Right back at you my friend! My wife and I both served, she in the Navy for six years and myself in the Marine Corps for eight. Unlike you neither of us served in combat. We were in just after Vietnam, 75-81 for her and 75-83 for me. My largest regret I have from my days are that I did not stay in longer. There were what I thought of at the time valid reasons for getting out (most a critical MOS which I could not get out of with very slow promotion). Never once considered swapping to another branch. Considering all of the Aviation schools I attended were Navy schools. If I had known even a small amount of what I know about the military now it would have been a lot different.

I served from 1975-1980 in the USCG in non-combat related duties. Earned my wings and was a Search and Rescue Aircrewman flying several times a day in fixed wing and helo. You would be familiar with the Sikorsky HH52 single engine but more likely the H3F Pelican dual engine helo that I spent most of my time in. Also the C130 long range search aircraft and the old Goat flying boat. Good times!!

I'm one that also regrets not staying in... it was a good life and a wonderful and honorable mission. At the time I thought I had good reasons for leaving, but later tried to re-enlist and was only offered E3... not doable economically. Had I stayed in I would have retired with my other buddies. Was offered E6 before leaving and would have made Chief in just a few more years... promotion came fast to Airedale Coasties in those days. Life as a chief is mostly walking around with coffee. :D
 

Marine Airedale

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I served from 1975-1980 in the USCG in non-combat related duties. Earned my wings and was a Search and Rescue Aircrewman flying several times a day in fixed wing and helo. You would be familiar with the Sikorsky HH52 single engine but more likely the H3F Pelican dual engine helo that I spent most of my time in. Also the C130 long range search aircraft and the old Goat flying boat. Good times!!

I'm one that also regrets not staying in... it was a good life and a wonderful and honorable mission. At the time I thought I had good reasons for leaving, but later tried to re-enlist and was only offered E3... not doable economically. Had I stayed in I would have retired with my other buddies. Was offered E6 before leaving and would have made Chief in just a few more years... promotion came fast to Airedale Coasties in those days. Life as a chief is mostly walking around with coffee. :D
Yup, you can tell a Chief or SNCO by the permanent crooked fingers in their coffee cup hand ... LOL. Familiar with all three of those A/C. I worked on CH-46, UH-1N and lastly EA6B beauties. It is interesting, the Naval Air Station I was at for a long while after we had transitioned away from them the Navy still had their 46s for SAR aircraft. Was very common to have me over there working on the Gray/Orange aircraft we no longer had at that Station. But still, it never occurred to me to swap over to the Navy for reenlistment.

I did the same as you, got out after 8 tried to come back in and was offered E4, no guaranteed duty station and could not go to a different MOS. I just could not envision walking around with as many chevrons as hash marks. Should have talked to my shipmates in the Navy for certain.

Semper Piratus Shipmate!
 

Spitpatch

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Paternal Grandfather was Artillery crewman in France in The Great War. He returned severely damaged (mentally). Back then they called it "Shell Shock" (now PTSD). He became a raging alcoholic and finally spent the last 35 years of his life in a hospital. Although I was born 8 years before his death, I never met him. "Nanny" (his wife: my grandmother) shared stories of him mostly good and visited him regularly until he passed. She gave me a photograph of him with his crew and cannon, his compass and his New Testament carried into battle. Both items of direction in life that I am certain served him in his fights.

Dad was forced into "enlistment or jail" in December of 1941 at the age of 17. Gunner on a Destroyer Escort ("expendable") in the Pacific. I have a silk Rising Sun flag with Japanese blood stains on it, and photos of torpedo bomber on a dead heading for the ship with the wake of the "fish" visible in the water.

Me? I fought the South Dakota Theater of the Vietnam War as a Military Policeman. Not a single Communist overran my post, By God.
 

Tarawa86

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Yup, you can tell a Chief or SNCO by the permanent crooked fingers in their coffee cup hand ... LOL. Familiar with all three of those A/C. I worked on CH-46, UH-1N and lastly EA6B beauties. It is interesting, the Naval Air Station I was at for a long while after we had transitioned away from them the Navy still had their 46s for SAR aircraft. Was very common to have me over there working on the Gray/Orange aircraft we no longer had at that Station. But still, it never occurred to me to swap over to the Navy for reenlistment.

I did the same as you, got out after 8 tried to come back in and was offered E4, no guaranteed duty station and could not go to a different MOS. I just could not envision walking around with as many chevrons as hash marks. Should have talked to my shipmates in the Navy for certain.

Semper Piratus Shipmate!
Sorry, couldn't resist lol. Cheers to all my fellow veterans.

Capture.JPG

And to all my Navy brethren who gave me many fine rides on their ships while I was in the Marines Capture.JPG
 
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