pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Veteran's Day Stars

Every year, our school hangs stars for past veterans of all wars, all services. I always put up one for Dad, who worked on payroll in Casa Blanca, Africa, during WW II. (Well, that's better than people lobbing live bullets your way, right?) As a civilian, he worked for IBM, and when they found that out, he was "requisitioned" by the guy in charge of payroll, who needed those skilled with IBM machines, especially ones who could REPAIR them. Mom writes, "It was Army Air Force first and somewhere along the line, the 'Army' was dropped from the Air Force. Dale (my dad) was Army AF."

This year, I was handed a sheet of four, and other relatives, even friends, were included. Anyone we KNEW in the service... Well, that could be reams of paper! With so many relatives living in Keesler's lap, I've even had blind dates with "doggies". (men wearing military "dog" tags.)

Well, it's a shame to waste a whole sheet... I thought. I "extended" my family and added my sister's husband, who was in Viet Nam in the Air Force. I added my Uncle Eddie, mom's brother, who spent three years in the Army during WW II, including walking up Italy, after spending three years in Panama. Mom said, "He marched, drove jeeps, and repaired or made temporary bridges. He was in the Engineer Company and went through Italy. He was wounded several times, but nothing life threatening. He would not talk much about the war. Mom also tells a hair-rising story of her friend Rutland, who was in the Navy and was wounded when an enemy bullet hit him in the bottom back of his head. He had a metal plate installed. Once when he was driving a car across the Biloxi drawbridge and heard a loud sound that reminded him of bombs being dropped, he dived for the floorboards. Scary!

I added dad's brother, my Uncle Russell, who was in the Navy in WW II, and later found out that his older brother Uncle Bob also was in the Navy. I thought mom's brother Uncle Don was in the Navy, but mom said it was the Merchant Marines, and another sister's husband, my Uncle Nick, was a Captain in the Air Force during WW II, and stayed in the reserves when he got out, at a higher rank mom can't remember.

Uncle Clyde, her youngest sister Carol's husband, was also Navy, on a tanker ship during the Korean Conflict. Only Uncle Byron (4F) from among the sisters' husbands did not serve, it seems, Mom's current husband My Friend George (4F), and mom's brother Frank (4F). The ones old enough and sound went.

One of Mom's oldest sister Jean's daughter's husband, Bill, was also in the Air Force. I know he was also stationed at Keesler, but not during what time period. Her son Stanley (who died a while back of a brain tumor) was in the Coast Guard, during the Korean Conflict, she thinks, not Viet Nam. One of Stan's children, his daughter Stephanie is a Master Sargeant who was moved into the Biloxi area while her father was bad, but is now stationed back in Texas.

My sister's husband Chuck's father LLoyd served in WW II, but I don't know the branch. His church would not let him be a member because of it... Chuck's number was not called during Nam, but he also got a college deferment, and had a conscientious objector's status, being 7th Day Adventist back then. That didn't help his brother Roy, who was used as a guinea pig. They shot germs into him, then gave him meds to cure him. Not a pleasant time.

Bob, one of my cousin's husbands, has been in the Air Force for 20 years, retired, but still flies organs for transplanting and is "on call" constantly. Another, Mark, just retired from the Air Force.

My brother's first wife was a mechanic in (Air Force? Navy?). I can't remember, but she did work on big engines and ships. (Or was she just on ships because she lived in Florida at the time and had access, and I've confused stories???)

The 4f's were asthma, double hernia, artificial leg... and were never called up (in fact, were turned down when some tried...)

I forgot NickB III--He was army--got just before the limit--30 years. He served in Germany--no was. Been out maybe 3years.-----

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