Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrate Veteran's Day today

Because we owe them so much . . .

My son served two tours of duty in Iraq. One during the war with the Marines, and a second in the post-war period with the Army. After his four year hitch with the USMC, he took some time off then enlisted with the Army. He's now a Staff Sergeant with 1st Cav based out of Ft. Hood. Serving his country with honor and nobility -- I could not be prouder of him.

My father served in the US Navy during WWII as a chief gunner's mate. He saw a lot of action on a variety of vessels. I've found some pics online. We get so used to seeing these war movies where everyone is on these big, powerful needs reminding that these guys were doing a lot of fighting on some pretty vulnerable little boats as well:

uss quincy
uss iuka
uss sc 1302
uss kearny
uss frankin d roosevelt

The third pic down is a sub chaser, I cannot find an image of my dad's boat -- SC 1301, but that's the same class, wooden hull and all. He was at the Normandy invasion on that thing, imagine...

The last ship, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt is obviously an aircraft carrier and that bottom pic, is the first landing of a jet aircraft on a carrier in 1946. Dad was on board for that trial. Cool.

I'm finishing up with two letters from my father's packet of separation papers, the first is from President Harry Truman and the second from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal:

"To you who answered the call of your country and served in its Armed Forces to bring about the total defeat of the enemy, I extend the heartfelt thanks of a grateful Nation. As one of the Nation's finest, you undertook the most severe task one can be called upon to perform. Because you demonstrated the fortitude, resourcefulness and calm judgment necessary to carry out that task, we now look to you for leadership and example in further exalting our country in peace."
Harry Truman

"I have addressed this letter to reach you after all the formalities of you separation from active service are completed. I have done so because, without formality but as clearly as I know how to say it, I want the Navy's pride in you, which it is my privilege to express, to reach into your civil life and to remain with you always.

"You have served in the greatest Navy in the world.

"It crushed two enemy fleets at once, receiving their surrenders only four months apart.

"It brought our land-based airpower within bombing range of the enemy, and set our ground armies on the beachheads of final victory.

"It performed the multitude of tasks necessary to support these military operations.

"No other Navy at any time has done so much. For your part in these achievements you deserve to be proud as long as you live. The Nation which you served at a time of crisis will remember you with gratitude.

"The best wishes of the Navy go with you into your future life. Good luck!"

James Forrestal

Add to that my thanks to all who currently serve, have served and the families that support them.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your family story. It is a privilege of mine to be in any way associated with any and all members of our armed forces. Please thank them if they accept such praises.
Rick Loos

postaldog said...

Thanks for the kind words.

I could fill pages with the stories, some quite horrific, that I grew up hearing from my father about the war. Too many people today have no idea the hardships those soldiers and sailors and airmen went through to save the world.

And to think that f*cker in the White House barricaded them from memorials as a propaganda ploy!