1. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Hope it's OK to post up here, had 3 uncles & a grandad that fought in WW2, & will be forever grateful for the sacrifice & commitment the "Greatest Generation" made for us, enabling us to enjoy the wide open spaces & freedoms we have; fortunate to have known many of them growing up, & few they be now... a trip the National Memorial in 2012 inspired our only kid to step up & said "send me" when the world is once again on fire...never forget the cost...
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  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    I went to church with a man who was landed on Omaha. One day, we were discussing the d-day scene in Saving Private Ryan (not knowing of his part in history). He started to talk about his experience. He went through a few sentences about the blood in the water and the body parts, then he went silent. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like on that day.
     
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  3. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    We had a veteran paratrooper in our church who was dropped behind the beach. He died a few years ago but I did hear him say a few things about his war experiences. These are the people we need to speak with, before they're all gone....... My name sake never returned from WWII European theater.
    ------------------------------------------
    On a slight tangent, many years ago I was working on a fellows lake dock and while in his house, noted photos of bomber aircraft. I asked him about that and he said the following story as best as I can recall today.

    "I was a bomber pilot during the war and served in the Pacific. We got shot up bad during a run over Japan and knew we couldn't make it back. So we turned back towards the island and we radioed our position and I told the crew to jump, so me and my Co would try cash land there. We landed safely in a field but seen the general public running towards us, carrying implements that they meant to end us with. The Japanese army also showed up but they didn't point there weapons at us, but instead they turned them on the public and keep them at bay. They saved our lives and we were set to an interment camp but the war was over in just 2 months." I then asked "what happen to your crew who bailed?" And his response was calmly stated "the Japanese navy patrolled the coastal region well and most likely picked them up, integrated them, cut there throats and throw them overboard. They did this to lots of air crews".

    Just one story I got to hear and I still think about this today. That was his buddies he gave the ordered to jump and his story was cool and calmly told to me..
     
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  4. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We went to the National D-Day memorial last year (October) and we were very impressed with it. It's located in Bedford, VA. If you ever get a chance go see it! The older gentleman who gave us the tour was very good and he had plenty of stories to tell us. Make sure to see the films at the main visitors center before going on the tour.
     
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  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Sadly though there are a few who just completely clam up and refuse to talk about there experience. Met an older gentleman back when I was 18. He served in WW2 and looked quite war torn if you catch my drift. He started talking briefly about the weather and the land over there from his experience but the second the conversation got close to talking about the war he would stop and won't talk anymore about it. He purposely locked those memories up.
    Totally unrelated but my great aunt who lived through the great depression sadly also refused to talk about her experience. She refused to tell you where she lived or what the neighborhood was like. It's like that side of her life was dead. It's sad because those experiences die with them.
     
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  6. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Like many people with a bad experience, you can't necessarily get them to talk about it. Just the same, to ask people about there lives is to care about them. I love to hear peoples war stories, life in the depression, work or otherwise. Maybe I ask to much?
     
  7. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    My father in law was in Okinawa when his ship (USS Purdy) was hit by a kamikaze on 4/12/45. He was badly injured and did not speak a lot about it. We were down the shore on vacation in June 2009 when he started talking about the battle. He gave all the details of what happened! My MIL heard details she never knew about. I think he wanted to pass along the story to the family before he passed. He passed away in February the following year.

    After he told us the whole story we understood why he did not want to really give all the details!

    My uncle served during the Korean war as an Army infantryman. When he came home he never spoke a word of what he experienced. He never told his parents or wife what happened. We assume it was not good! While I was in high school I remember asking him about his experiences when he was in Korea. He said he will never ever speak of what happened! He then got up and walked away!.
     
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  8. shelmily

    shelmily Well-Known Member

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    My grandfather was in France during the war. He, like others have said, would talk about his buddies, the countryside, or the french, but hardly ever spoke about the war. The only story I really remember him telling, was how he got his purple hart. He was injured by a grenade, and told me about the damage it did to his helmet, and how it saved his life. Sadly he is also gone now. I saw on the news today that roughly 300 WWII vets pass on every day now. It won't be long before they are all gone.

    In September, some friends and I are going to Europe. One of our stops is going to be Normandy/Omaha beach. I am very excited, but also kind of nervous. To be in such a reverent and historical place is going to be quite overwhelming.
     
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  9. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

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    My Dad served in Korea and Vietnam, he was just a touch too young to have been in WWII...

    He never talked in depth about his time in the service to his sons up to the day he passed. I know he was awarded a purple heart for something that happened while he was working on a guidance system.

    Most of these guys are walking around with a truck load of painful memories. The ones that didn't give their lives, definately gave a huge part of their psyche for our freedom. Nothing but serious respect from me to them for sure!
     
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  10. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    That was a generation that almost all the men in that age group went to war. My dad, uncles and all my dads friends were in the big one. None of these men ever talked much about battle experiences. They did talk about the places they had been and the people they met.

    I think that was the last war that took the entire generation of young men/boys. Unlike the wars we since have had that were selective service and now volunteer forces.
     
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  11. fourhallatts

    fourhallatts Active Member

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    My dad was reluctant to talk about his WWII experience either. He was in the army. He would talk about lots of stuff (like the food, "if I wanted to stand in line to get my food I would have stayed in the army", or the private that overturned the jeep they were riding in) but never the battles. I only found out some things after he died when my son had a project for school and needed his discharge papers. It was enlightening and explained alot.
     
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  12. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    If you folks like history, I must suggest the book Flags of Our Fathers. The author was the son of one of the fellows who was in the photograph of the flag raisers, on Iwo Jima. That photo is the 2nd most copied photograph in history. His son was a writer but heard next to nothing, from his father about the war. After his death, his mother unearthed a trunk full of memorabilia which prompted him to write that wonderful book about all the fellows in the picture. Do note, just because a vet doesn't talk about this of that, does not mean they are mentally off. Also note, that book and its description of battles there, gave me nightmares and is the only book, to ever do that to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  13. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

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    I believe I read that book. Has it been out since at least the early 90s? It sounds like one of the books I read in college...

    I do apologize for any idea anyone would have gotten about what I meant by my comment about the psyche. These people are dealing with a trauma of something that I don't even want to think about. Most vets I know of that saw combat are fine, but also are stuffing the memory of combat away so it doesn't impact their daily lives...
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  14. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    My Grandfather fought in WW1 and WW2 for Germany. My Dad was conscripted into the German army in 1943 at age 16 for WW2. He was a foot soldier sent to the ditches in the East to fight the Russians. He took some hand grenade blast to his leg, spent some time in the hospital, and they sent him back out. I used to see him staring at that scar from time to time, just staring and thinking. He passed from cancer in 2015 at 87 years old. He never talked about the war. Grampa (Opa) died in 1986 at the age of 95 years old. He also never talked of the wars. I just went to my Uncles funeral this last weekend. He past last week at the age of 93. He was also a foot soldier in the German army. He spoke of it occasionally, but not very often. I think they want to forget the horror, but we somehow want to know. Horrible times that we cannot begin to imagine. Entitled 16 year olds nowadays have no clue what it was like for people their age, just 2 generations ago. I'm beginning to rant, sorry, this is not the place for it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  15. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Good informative post; good place(post) to rant as well, can't see how anyone could/would be offended...well maybe a couple, but who gives a gnat's backside...[CB]
     
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  16. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Active Member

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    My father joined the Coast Guard in WWII and spent most of his time in the North Atlantic. Like has been said he never talked about it aside from things that weren't combat related. It was only after he passed (he died young at the age of 50) that I was able to find out a few things from an Uncle. Since that Uncle served in Korea I guess he was willing to share things with him that he never told other family members. I learned he was on 2 ships that were torpedoed by German U-boats and spent all together almost 20 days in life rafts. My oldest Uncle on my mother's side was a bomber pilot and was shot down and killed over Germany. My mother and her family never talked about his time in the service so the only things I ever knew about him was stories from his childhood. It was only after most of that generation was gone did I find out some things about their wartime lives when I started doing some genealogy work on the family.
     
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  17. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  18. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Also the early casualties were the private industry seamen that were lost during the lend lease shipment.
     
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