Thank a World War Two Veteran.

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by meatloaf109, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    My dad tried to enlist on Dec.8th 1941, he was 14 years old. They told him that he was too young. He walked down the block and signed on in the Merchant Marine. They took him. They taught him engineering, and sent him to sea as one of the "black gang" on a T-2 tanker. They took on oil in Houston and went up to Cape Hattaras N.C. where a U-boat torpedoed them. He swam through burning oil to shore. As a boy I was always amused by the wild growth of hair that was his eyebrows, and the constant clipping of his nose and ear hair. A strange effect of that experience, He told me later. He sailed on many convoys, to England mostly, but also to the Mediterranean/African front and Russia.(Murmansk) The last trip he took as a Merchant Marine sailor ended in another torpedoing. He spent 32 days in a life boat in the North Atlantic. After a short stay on shore he forged his fathers signature and enlisted in the U.S.N. (He said he wanted to be on something that shot back) He was 16. They made him a plank owner on the U.S.S. Gainard (DD-706) and off he went to the invasion of Okinawa. Dad said that when they were on picket duty they shot down 50 kamikazes. I don't care what the real number was. He was always proud of that.
    We had our difficulties, he and I. When I was 14, and knew everything, he suggested that I leave and prove it. So I did.
    Many miles and many moons and after my own service, many years later, we talked.
    That's when I learned most of the above.
    My father had a massive stroke two weeks ago, the doctors have done all that they can since then, but it appears that it is only a matter of time.
    I am not asking for condolences or sympathy, my views on death don't include that.
    Just go out of your way to thank a World War Two Veteran, theyr'e getting thin on the ground.
     
  2. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I do every time I meet one. Your dad sounds like one hell of a guy, the kind I would be proud to shake the hand of. Give him my thanks, Meatloaf, and shake his hand for me. And my thanks to you, as well, for your own service. :salute: :salute:
     
  3. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, I am many miles away, and there is nothing that I could do or say that would change things.
    Thank you for your recognition of the Vets as you find them, as for me, I just did my job and am happy counting my toes... they're all there.
     
  4. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you and your father Meatloaf. My Dad's dad was in the Merchant Marines also, my dad in the Airforce. And as with RA, I thank them regardless of what war or time period they have or are serving in. My hat is off to you and you father sir. They would take me, they sorta frown on Type I diabetes.

    :salute:
     
  5. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Perhaps the story is not completely factual, but such becomes irrelevant given your father's service. A man's contribution to America's protection is not weighed based upon his memories, but rather upon his actions.

    May God bless him.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    :salute:

    I agree with you completely meatloaf.
     
  7. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    My Dad died early this morning, I'm gonna go hang out at the grocery story and thank every old vet I can find.
    The greatest generation is leaving us, America needs their example.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I am sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolenses.

    :salute:
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Sorry about your Dad
     
  10. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Thank You one and all, preceeding and following, for your good wishes.
    As my mother has requested, I will not be attending his funeral.
    I will, however, be asking the WWII memorial to add his name to the list.
    That is how I will remember him.
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    If you don't mind me asking, why does she not want you to attend?
     
  12. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    My condolences ML, My father-in-law was also in the MM under similar circumstances. He was young (16 or 17), was kicked out of the house by his father and found a home on the water in a WW2 T-2 Tanker, I believe. He once told me he would never forget the experience of coming on deck at dawn late in the Pacific war and watching (like Mr. Roberts) an entire task force file silently by. I expect your own father saw many similar and equally exhilerating sights and lived to be proud of his son's own service. He saw and experienced more than most of us will ever see of life and the world. I hope recognition of his full life will give you the same comfort I felt when my father-in-law passed some years ago.
     
  13. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    I was disowned by them when I left their faith. I don't blame her, she is a literalist fire and brimstone believer.
    So it goes.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Sorry to hear that.
     
  15. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you and your family.
     
  16. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    It is well you harbor no blame. The loss to both you and your family by their decision is beyond words. I am truly sorry.
     
  17. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Well, crap. Sorry to hear that, bud, you and your family are in my prayers. Lost my own father to cancer almost 3 years ago now (will be three years on Memorial Day), so I know how you feel.
     
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