Discussion in 'Military' started by Orange_Juice, Nov 25, 2008.
Godspeed and RIP.
Death frees WWII vet after 62 years of mental torment : Home: The Buffalo News
RIP I agree, but he really was the exception, not the rule.
My dad was not a hero, he'd be the first to say so. He was drafted. He was in a basic training squad with a drunk sergeant, it took them 3 times to pass. Afterwards, when the 'tests' showed he'd exceptional ability to id planes, they wanted him to do that. He declined. Later they wanted him to command a platoon, again he declined. He'd learned never to volunteer from the drunk sergeant.
He ended up in the 3rd wave on D-day, about 7am on 6/7. He and another guy came off the Atlantic, made it across the beach, started up the marked dune, but the artillery piece on wheels, well it crossed the mark. Blew them into the air, killing those behind them. The other guy died. My dad, well he was unconscious for awhile, he awoke to a medic plopping his arm and hand into a bucket of sulfa. He was also scooping the sulfa onto his, back, and butt.
The medic explained he needed to amputate his hand, my dad said, "Why would you want to do that?" He curled the arm into his body and said, "No." Again lost consciousness. He awoke in London, with the hand still there.
Long story short, Thanks to an incredible soon-to-be orthopedic surgeon, his hand was saved. Granted there were no nerves left, the man lived to 84, constantly tearing the skin on that hand, bleeding like a stuck pig and not knowing it, till he'd stained the carpet with his blood.
RIP. Hopefully he's up there trading stories with my dad and uncle, also WWII vets.
On the lighter side, last week my son and I were joined on the golf course by an 86 year old WWII vet. He was a Seabee who daily repaired Henederson Field during the battle for Guadalcanal and rebuilt Naha Harbor on Okinawa during the last days of the battle. His next assignment was invading the main islands of Japan.
He walked briskly, had a great sense of humor and shot a great game of golf from the BACK tees. MY son and I were honored and he thanked us for the chance for him to chat since I was on Okinawa in 67-69. My son was awestruck by the history we played with that day.
I hope we run into him again.
Thanks, great post. Henderson Field is scared ground
As is every American soldiers grave.
You're welcome. This guy was the real thing. Lived to enjoy his sacrifices.
I'm always a bit sorry to hear of a vets passing on. But, we can hope that he's now in a better place. He damned sure earned that much.
Patton said it best:
Dillo had a great point in his golf story. The best time to pay tribute to the vets is when they are still around. It's always the right time to make sure they know that what they did truly mattered.
Here is another one who is truly the real deal. I had the distinct privilege of meeting with him on numerous occasions when I was stationed in Abilene TX. We, the local Marines on I&I duty, helped him and his wife move from an apartment on the twentieth floor to a new house. He attended all the Marine Corps Birthday Balls, and I even got a copy of his book, signed of course. Great Guy. I have no doubt that if you are ever in Abilene TX and look him up, he'll appreciate it.
John Keith Wells - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/review/product/096446750X/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?_encoding=UTF8&coliid=&showViewpoints=1&colid=&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending]Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Give Me Fifty Marines Not Afraid to Die: Iwo Jima[/ame]
My old man is still kicking.
He did six years (1939-1945) in the merchant marines. Atlantic sailor. Wounded in action. Three ships he was serving on were sunk. He was blown off a ship by a sub's deck mounted gun, too.
Didn't get veterans benefits until he was about 70 or so.
A couple more years and there won't be an American WWII vet alive.
Tell your Dad thanks from us. I was gonna send you some Thanksgiving Rep to give to him but the machine is keeping me down...... You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to editec again.
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