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Author Topic: Veterans Day 2019  (Read 498 times)

Yowbarb

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Veterans Day 2019
« on: November 11, 2019, 09:48:59 AM »
It's Veterans Day 2019.
Please share here your memories and stories and parade pics...

R.R. Book

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Re: Veterans Day 2019
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 11:38:09 AM »
Just want to note that my grandfather had voluntarily enlisted at the age of 17 in the 45th Infantry Division (a.k.a. the Oklahoma Territorial Infantry Division) of the U.S. 7th Armored Division for a tour of duty in WWII.  The Native American Thunderbird symbol was their insignia:



He had to falsify his age to join up, and had served with actors Audie Murphy and Dan Blocker who played Hoss Cartwright.


At that incredibly young age, he had seen all the battles which ensued once the U.S. entered Europe, and ended up with his division storming and liberating the Dachau concentration camp.  Some of the photos from that are too sickening to post, but I will share that my grandfather earned two purple hearts and some other medals.  Here's a photo of the 45th crossing the Rhine River in an amphibious vehicle:


Toward the end of the war, my grandfather was injured and in a coma in the Walter Reed Hospital, and awoke from it to learn that his mother had died while he was unconscious.  He suffered from life-long depression over what he witnessed in Germany, but when we took a home-made cake to him on Father's Day 1988, we found him dead on the floor with a beautiful, peaceful smile on his face, at the age of 64.  I had invited the local VFW to help me arrange his medals in the correct sequence in a display case for his funeral, and they gave him a really moving salute at the end.

Posting a photo of my grandfather's division pausing for an outdoor Christmas service in Italy on Christmas day in 1943.  He was 19 years old then:


After the war, the 45th Infantry Division was decommissioned back down to a National Guard unit.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 07:54:19 AM by R.R. Book »

Yowbarb

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Re: Veterans Day 2019
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2019, 01:09:10 AM »
R.R. I really  loved seeing this post about your grandfather.

 

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