Today is just one day that we acknowledge and thank our veterans for their service to our country. We are thankful every day, we’re not always too good at saying what is on our hearts. Here’s one of my favorite veterans))
My dad was in the Army Air Force in the 1940’s He and my mother were married at the time and she worked on the base but was a civilian. He was stationed in numerous places across the USA. I’ve heard them talk about being in Nebraska and Biloxi. He was fortunate that he never had to go overseas and I understand that was because of his eyesight.
His primary responsibility during service was to check out the bombers when they would return from their missions and make sure they were safe and ready to go again. He never flew one he said but would taxi them around on the base while checking them out. Mother also had duties that involved the planes. Women did all sorts of work back then that had typically been men’s jobs.
They stayed in touch with some of their military friends and off base neighbors for many years, but I’m sad to say that I never knew the names or anything. I remember they talked about how in Nebraska, an older couple had befriended them and rented a room to them. They talked about those folks many times and had stories to tell.
If you have a parent still living, write those stories down or take some notes))) One of the nicest things that happened when Daddy was in the nursing home before he died, was the personal history that the social worker obtained. It was a slow process I understand and she got questions answered here and there on good days. It was amazing some of the things I learned! I pulled the booklet out to see if he had what he had said about his military service.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
“I wanted to be an airline pilot. There weren’t many planes around back then and when you would see one flying across the sky you would stare at it for as long as you could see it.”
“I served a little over three years, but was disqualified for overseas service, my eyes were the reason. I had a pretty good deal – got stationed at different bases. The Air Force was very interesting. Never did become a pilot but got a lot of experience around one – not training – but learned about what happened in the air. I had some officers – some were good – some were bad. My job was as an airplane mechanic. I was always in a group working on a makeshift hanger or a better type hanger. My work always pertained to the engine – never the little parts of the plane.”
Where were you stationed?
“I was stationed down at Biloxi and was there til…I don’t know. I was in San Diego and then Salina, Kansas, and then I wound up in a permanent party in Nebraska. It was a little ole town not as big as Ecru – Geneva, Nebraska, and York, Nebraska. I was there probably for about two years. This was all during WWII.
If you haven’t been to Washington, DC, and toured the memorials you should go. Everyone should go. I’ve only been to Washington that one time, but I sincerely regret that I did not pursue getting Daddy on one of those honor flights before it was too late.
The National World War II Memorial honors the 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Engraving around the base of a flagpole: AMERICANS CAME TO LIBERATE, NOT TO CONQUER, TO RESTORE FREEDOM AND TO END TYRANNY
The names of over 58,000 Americans who were killed or went missing during the Vietnam War are carved into this 246-foot-long memorial’s black granite walls.
As I said above, Daddy was one of my favorite veterans. My most favorite would be my husband))
My husband joined the Army shortly after his 18th birthday rather than let the draft get him. He was stationed in Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, KY, and Fort Leonardwood, MO. He was shipped overseas to South Korea on a base near the DMZ.
Before he could complete his two-year stint, his 39-year-old dad died of a massive heart attack. The Red Cross was able to fly him back home several days after his dad’s death for the funeral. We will always be grateful to the Red Cross for that. He continued his service in the States after that.
Several months later he received a hardship discharge and returned home to help with his mother and two younger sisters. We were married later that year.
Fast forward to 53 years later…..and it has been fast! Our 53rd anniversary is in about two weeks. My goodness, that seems like a lifetime ago. But I can still remember his serial number))
If you have a loved one who qualifies for the Honor Flight, please think about it. The Honor Flight Network serves veterans who served from World War II to the Korean War and through to Vietnam. They also serve catastrophically ill and injured veterans from all service eras. Please visit the site to learn more about it.
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