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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Constitutionally Speaking's Avatar
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    I have several uncles who served in WWII - one as a tailgunner over Germany. I understand that he was very lucky to have made it home.

    They did not talk about their time in the service much.

    I myself have not served in the armed forces.
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  2. #12  
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    My maternal grandpa's 90st birthday would've been today had he still been alive. He died in 1975, of a massive stroke--age 55.

    He served in the army 6 and 1/2 years--He enlisted in 1939 and as we weren't in a war in '39 was sent to Panama to guard the Panama Canal, where he contracted Malaria (which would haunt him the rest of his life); in '43, he was sent to Europe and reached the rank of Staff Sgt, winning a Bronze Star (with V Device) amongst other honors and medals. He served throughout the entire European theater, before he was shot by a sniper in Luxembourg, witnessing the deaths of friends and other tragedies and horrors in the meantime. The bullet caused a compound fracture, and while doctor insisted they amputate the leg, he told the doctor, rifle raised, that he would die if he attempted to take his leg. However, it proved to be the wrong decision--

    He spent over a year in and out of the hospital, getting surgery after surgery, and for the first time experiencing during the course of the surgeries both phlebitis (which would also haunt the rest of his days), and hypertension, for which he spent the rest of his life on heavy duty medication. After leaving the army, he worked hard--a blue collar man, a Postal Worker for over a decade; a taxi driver, a chauffer, a Security Guard at the '64 World's Fair, amongst numerous other side jobs--My grandmother tells me there was never a day he went without pain in the leg, even when walking, yet he still managed to get to work every morning. He was a proud member of the American Legion and was licensed to carry a concealed weapon so likely a strong second amendment rights supporter, though he wanted none of his children, especially his daughters, joining the military.

    Throughout the course of his life, he never spoke more than perhaps 5 sentences about his military service to anyone, not even to my grandmother, his wife of twenty years. He kept whatever memories, stories or pain incurred while in the service inside and shared them sparingly, to a select few on a select few occasions.

    He later, besides the malaria, hypertension and leg wound, developed gout in his 30s--all of these combined greatly impeded his ability to exercise and he went from being a tall, skinny, lithe man to overweight. He often, throughout his 30s and 40s according to my grandmother, would suffer bouts of phlebitis and malaria--The doctor would have to come to the house and treat him; She said he would have fevers reaching 105 degrees and many times she thought he would die. My mother can recall as a little girl watching her father shake and shiver with the chills of Malaria--Yet through all of this he continued to work hard, having always two jobs, supporting his family. Even after my grandparents' separated, he supported his family by sending a weekly child support check--He gave what he could on his wages as a blue collar man.

    His final years were sad ones. He suffered a massive stroke brought about from the clots in the leg in 1973; the stroke was so intense to even have caused him to present to the hospital with hemiplegia and in the next few days to experience seizures and slipped into a coma for a few days; it was thought he would die then, and he had to relearn how to walk and talk. The morning he had the stroke, he didn't panic--He knew what was happening and instead of panicking, he calmly took a shower, shaved, combed his hair, dressed himself and called a cab to take himself to the hospital. His belief on death was, and I quote:

    "When the man upstairs calls you, there could be a dozen of the world's best doctors around you--but when it's your time to go, it's your time to go."

    He recovered completely and just 3 months after suffering the stroke he was up playing ball in upstate NY with his brothers. However his girlfriend whom he he had lived with for years after he and my grandmother separated, abandoned him after he had the stroke and he had no place to live, and my grandmother out of sympathy (who was already dating and living with another man, my step-grandpa) took pity on him and allowed him to move back into their former marital home. He dreaded being around her and living there, fell a deep and intense depression, but even through this he still did what he could to help--when my mother and aunt would go to school, he would on his own babysit my toddler sisters and infant cousin, who were wily children--this after having a massive stroke.

    The very next year in 1974, he suffered a bout of pleurisy and spent two weeks in the hospital. Ironically, my step-grandfather, his former wife's boyfriend, was the one to take him to the hospital. Despite the stroke and hospitalization with pleurisy, my grandpa was still active--He would walk daily to get his breakfast out at a local diner, liked his eggs lose and scrambled, and would then often head to OTB or walk to the pay phone to place bets. He walked, even with a big piece of his leg missing, without a limp or cane; but that was the extent of his exercise and he would retire to bed early.

    The next year, in early 1975, my grandfather met tragedy again when his older brother, whom he had been close with, suddenly died, which deepened his already existing depression. My grandfather himself finally succumbed to a second massive stroke in the Fall of 1975, and even up to the week he died, while suffering from headaches and dizziness (probably knowing they were warning signs of a stroke) he insisted on babysitting his grandchildren. Three days before he died, he had reported confusion and numbness in the right side of his face and hands, but didn't go to the doctor--he stayed home and watched his grandchildren. While alert and lucid, he died suddenly shortly after arriving at the VA Hospital.

    He died with his hair intact and still black, with his family sitting by his side, and still with a sense of pride--A death though greatly and sadly premature had at least a semblance of dignity.

    So R.I.P to a Veteran, a servant of this nation and a great man. A man I wish I was alive to have known in the flesh instead of just through stories and photos.
    Last edited by CaughtintheMiddle1990; 04-07-2010 at 06:53 PM.
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  3. #13  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    That was very interesting CTM!
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  4. #14  
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    My dad served from 1976-1978.
    Last edited by CaughtintheMiddle1990; 04-12-2010 at 11:55 PM.
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  5. #15  
    My Dad 1967. Golden Knights Army Parachute Team. He won the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for skydiving in international competition against the Soviets. He set and retired a worlds record. He then went to Officer Candidate School (OCS) and flight school shortly afterwards. I'm sure he's the only guy who ever showed up on day one of flight school with a DFC.



    Oh and...I'm retired from the Army too.
    At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that news is not something that happens to other people. ~ Robert Heinlein

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  6. #16  
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    Mine are over on my family page. Some pics, and a list of veterans at the bottom.

    http://users.mo-net.com/mcruzan/geneal01.htm

    http://members.socket.net/~mcruzan/images/allen-west.jpg

    Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.

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  7. #17  
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    Dad entered Army as a 17 y.o. His first duty station was Korea in 1952. He served that year in korea and eventually retired in 1974 after three tours in Vietnam. I joined in 1986 and still serve. tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Korea also but not in combat.
    Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
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  8. #18  
    Grouchy Old Broad Kay's Avatar
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    ARMY:
    Had a cousin that was drafted and did one tour in Vietnam.

    NAVY:
    My great uncle served on a destroyer that had just left Pearl Harbor
    about 4 days before the attack in WWII.

    Had another uncle that also served in the Navy during WWII, don't
    know too much about what he did.

    I have a cousin currently serving on the USS Hawaii.

    I have another cousin currently serving on the USS La Jolla.

    USMC:
    Have an uncle who served 4 years during peacetime.

    My ex-father-in-law was a career Marine who was a Drill Instructor when
    the old black & white movie "DI" (Jack Webb) was filmed. He marches a
    platoon across the screen during the opening credits. Then he went on to
    serve in Vietnam, where he was an EOD guy.

    An ex-husband that was a Marine.

    My son is currently serving in the USMC.
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member namvet's Avatar
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    my late dad in WW2. right after boot. he was 17 and my late grandfather signed the papers for him to enlist.

    my late Uncle also served as well. he flew black cats and killed Uboats.

    my mother worked in a war plant. she helped buid the B-25 Mitchell bomber

    an aunt also worked in a war plant. she helped build the P-47 Thunderbolt engine.

    my late grandfater loaded bullets at the lake city arsnel

    I served 4 years in the USN during nam
    Liberals: Obama's useful Idiots
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  10. #20  
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    Found another pic of Dad in '77. My dad's half Italian and Irish and moderate-conservative, yet compare to:

    My dad in the US Army, 1977:


    We know who this:
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