Veterans in your family?
Have you any veterans in your family? Are you one?
If anyone has or had a veteran in their family, would be cool to hear stories/pay tribute to them in this thread.
I have a few but the two main veterans I know a little about are my maternal grandpa, and my paternal grandpa.
My maternal Grandpa was born here in the USA in 1920 to Italian immigrants. He enlisted in the Army in '38 and was sent thereafter to guard the Panama Canal. There, he got Malaria, which would haunt him for the rest of his life. By 1942, my grandpa was a Sergeant, and in '42, they re-assigned him to Europe--In Patton's Third Army. He was involved in the Rhineland and Northern France campaigns, and by 1944 was a Staff Sergeant, and had earned a Bronze Star (with V device), Army Air Medal (with V device), Combat Medal (with V device), but we don't know for what--a lot of his papers were lost in the '73 fire.
His service in the army was cut short in Luxembourg--He was shot in the leg in early '45 by a German snipe, causing a compound fracturer. He kept his leg but spent a year in the hospital. The doctors wanted to amputate his leg but he raised his gun to the doctor and told them, "Try it and I'll shoot you. If you take my leg my life is over.", not exact quote but you get the gist. He was honorably discharged.
He later worked for the Post Office from the 50s through the 60s, and on the side as a Security Guard (working for the Pinkerton detective service at the '64 NY World's Fair) and as a chauffeur. He suffered a massive stroke in 1973, which he recovered from almost completely; a pulmonary embolism in 1974, from which he recovered from, before dying in 1975 of a second stroke in a VA waiting room.
Though I never met him (He died in 1975; I was born in 1990), my grandpa is one of my heroes..He was a good man, who served his country loyally and admirably, and was a good father to his children, never hitting them or calling them names, and was a well liked, patient guy. He's someone I look up to and would like to emulate. He was also a brave man--Not just in his military service but later in life--
When he suffered his first stroke in '73, he woke up that morning and I guess realized something was wrong. He and my grandma had separated so he was living on his own. He didn't panic or get nervous, but he went, took a shower, shaved so he looked good, dressed himself and called a Cab, which took him to the Hospital.
Now, as far as my paternal grandpa, he too was of Italian descent, born in 1929, growing up in Bensonhurst, the son of a respected Mob-connected bookmaker (though my grandpa always went the straight and narrow path) His father, my great grandpa, died when he was only 40 and so my grandfather was the ''man of the house'' from a young age--He left medical school to get a job so he could take care of his mother and younger sister. He was drafted into the Army in 1950, with the outbreak of the Korean War.
While he was never sent overseas, though he repeatedly asked to be sent to Korea, he was sent to Alabama, which he hated, to work as a trainer--He had and still has a great mind for electrical setups and whatnot, and so was assigned to teach his fellow soldiers how to set up and run telephone lines for the battle field. While he never saw action, he did do something good at home--
In the army he made a friend who was an African American, uncommon in those days especially since he was raised in a predjudiced family, and one day he and his friend went to go into a bar to have a drink while off duty in Alabama. He walked into the bar with his friend; this was the deep south in the era of segregation, and he was told "Get that fucking ni***r out of here."by the men in there. My grandpa and his friend responded by kicking the shit out of the men in the bar, nearly getting arrested in the process.
He's still alive, at 80 years old, and thank God, healthy. He worked most of his life as a foreman for the Park's Department, and was well liked and loved on his job. He wasn't the best of fathers to my father or his siblings, had an anger problem but was a loyal husband. Today he's a pretty calm guy, and he and my grandma have been married over 50 years. He'll make you laugh with his stories and his still rebellious attitude.
My dad served in the Korean War. He fought for a hill (Hill 451) as a member of an artillery battery. The Chinese sent human wave attacks and kicked their asses off of that hill. My father's unit regrouped and several days later they took the hill back. The Chinese then sent wave after wave of attacks trying to get that hill back but me father and his unit held it amid tremendous losses. For his actions on that hill, he was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple heart. Months later he was awarded a Bronze Star and another Purple Heart. He come home on the same ship that brought his brother's body home.
I served in the Army. I was a 31-K, Combat Signaler. Almost 40 years after my dad had fought those hellish weeks on Hill 451, I was putting up retrans stations up on that hill.
My daughter served as a medic for an MP unit in Bagdahd. She lost her left eye, hearing in her left ear and suffered nerve damage to her left arm as a result of a grenade attack.
God bless your dad, yourself and your daughter for serving our country--I'm sorry to hear of your daughter's injuries but god bless her for serving in the Armed forces with bravery and loyalty--I hope she is ok though.
These photos are of my maternal grandpa (the one who died of a stroke), in 1942 while in the Army and in 1972.
Great grandfather, Frank A. Hummel
Veteran of the Spanish-American war. Buried in Arlington.
My dad served in the Army right after the Korean War. He did border patrol (shooting snipers) and he strung a lot of phone wires in rural South Korea for the locals. He still has all his ribbons and decorations.
My great-uncle Bert was a Seabee in WWII. I didn't know that until a few years before he died, when he wore a t-shirt from one of his Seabee reunions to a family gathering. Another great uncle served in a less-exclusive Navy capacity during the same war. I had a looney second cousin who served in the Army during the Vietnam War-he was looney before he went, I would say the only stable time in his life was when he was on active duty in a war zone.
No one in the current generation of my family has served, but I am very proud of the 3 or 4 former delinquents I once worked with who enlisted and served honorably.
My father was a staff sergeant in the Royal Artillery in the second war. Before that, he joined the volunteer reserves (Territorial Army) in '37, because he had the smarts to figure out what was about to happen in Europe.
When the war ended in '45, they wanted him to stay on, and he was offered a commission as a captain (senior NCOs get fast-tracked and jump two ranks in the British Army in times of war), but he wanted to get back to civvy street.
A couple years later, he married my mother.
He passed in '03. My father is a hero to me. I miss him.
Veterans iin your family
In 1988 I was among a group of Vietnam vets selected to visit the Wall in DC on Veterans Day that yr. from the VetCenter in Phoenix, AZ.
Among the group of 30-40 vets were two women vets. One had been a surgical nurse at China Beach, the other one at Long Binh.
They were hurtin just as much if not more than some of us guys.
Many times they held the hands of dying boys
as they left this world.
Kermit was right, especially in the 60s, It wasnt easy being Green.
I dont have any photos, but my great grandfather fought at Passchaendale
My grandmother told us of the day my great grandmother was reading the paper, saw the stories of the fighting, and remarked how happy she was that her husband was in training..what she didn't know (and wasn't told until later - OPSEC) was that he was in the thick of it, and that his cadre had been pulled out early and sent into battle.
An archive photo
My grandfather and my wife's father both served as "nasho's"...one at home in NZ, the other in Libya.
My moms father was in the Army during WW2. I don't know what unit he was with, I just know he was part of a unit that helped free one of the Concentration Camps. He passed away when I was 5, so I never really got to know him.
My fathers father served in the Navy as a radio tech in the 60's. He spent a lot of time in Italy, thats what he usually likes to talk about.
My father spent 22 years in the Air Force. He was part of an A-10 unit during Desert Storm, and spent 6 months over there through Shield, Storm, and for a bit after the hostilities ended. He had a number of close calls while there, the worst being a Patriot Missile intercepting a SCUD right over their base with a peice of shrapnel the size of a car hood slamming into the ground just a few feet from his bunker. He brought home a number of video's taken by A-10's and AH-64's during their missions. They where interesting to watch when you're 7. :D He spent the last 6 years of his career as a Recruiter, so he wasn't sent over to OIF or OEF.
I myself have only done a four month tour for OEF in Kyrgyzstan, at Ganci AB (more commonly known as Manas). It's usually a pretty quiet place to be stationed at, but I got there just before their national revolution. Things where really tense for a couple of weeks. A rampaging mob of 60,000 pissed off people was just a few miles down the road from us, and it seems it doesn't take a lot to get mad at Americans. We where pretty lucky though, our government made it very clear that if we where backing anyone, it was the mob, so we didn't have any real issues. I've been active duty for just about 8 years now, and I'd like to get another deployment under my belt sometime soon, but as of right now it doesn't look like it'll be happening soon.
A direct relative of mine. General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
My grandfather was in korea, my other grandfather was on the USS MIssouri when the Emperor of Japan signed the surrender document. My grand mother was in the Marine Corps during WWII. my father was in the Navy with UDT for 3 1/2 tours. Got out for 6 years then joined the Army where he served as a scout until retiring. All my uncles were in the Army and have served from Vietnam to Grenada to Panama to Desert Storm. Every one of my male cousins have been in the Army, Navy or Marine Corps. I served in the Navy as did my brother. My family has a long history of military service and it is a rite of manhood to serve in the military.