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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » What an Absolutely Splendid Idea!

LC 0311 Crunchie just came up with a brilliant idea in the comments to the Pearl Harbor post. I’ll let him speak for himself:

Sire, reading all these posts about our family and our own military service, our families especially, gave me an idea. Why not a post inviting all the LC’s to share their own and their families military experience.

Besides being I’m sure fascinating reading, it would be a good way to honor their service. We could share some of their stories, impart the verbal history they gave us to all the other LC’s, especially the younger ones. I think it would be a great way to honor them.

I couldn’t agree more.

So have at it, LCs, the comments are all yours.

Note: Troll extermination levels for this thread are set at “Extreme Prejudice” and “No Quarters.”

65 Responses to “What an Absolutely Splendid Idea!”
  1. Unregistered Comment by dawnsblood UNITED STATES

    Nothing special here, six years in the Army in the ’90s. Closest I got to combat was Haiti under Klinton. I wish our boys and girls that are still in the best in the world!

  2. Unregistered Trackback by Dawnsblood UNITED STATES

    Wanna talk about military service?…

    Tell your story? Talk about a relative that did well in the military? Misha wants you! Drop by, tell your story or just read about others. …

  3. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    My grandfather was in WWII, United States Army, Artillery, 155mm Howitzers. Landed at D-Day +21 hours and provided artillery support at the Battle of the Bulge.

    Aside from his role providing artillery support, he was also “volunteered” for a few small missions outside of their camp. I’m not too sure, as he told me about it when I was eight, but I think one was a courier mission with a message of some kind. Nothing very special except having to cut through barbed wire a few times, but it seems he got to see a B-17 shot down above him during the process of that.

    The high-point, however, to hear him tell it, was when he was “volunteered” to talk with a pre-teen Hitler Youth that had himself forted-up in a building with a Luger. Being that my grandfather spoke perfect German (German immigrant to America himself), he was the only person in the area that could actually speak with the kid. He eventually talked the child into giving up and tossing his weapon out, much to the relief of the infantry and doubtlessly to the benefit of the kid.

    He had quite a few awards… I wish I could remember them all, but it has been years and currently my parents have them. I remember he had at least one Bronze star… Possibly a Silver star too. He qualified as Expert Marksman and was always damned proud of that.

    More recently the only members of my family in the military have been cousins. The only story I’ve gotten out of any of them is one who likes to brag about tossing Pork MREs to the local Haji kids who can’t read english… Bawahahahaa.

  4. LC Gunsniper Comment by LC Gunsniper UNITED STATES

    My grandfather on my mother’s side served as one of TR’s Rough Riders and fought in the Battle of San Juan Hill.

    My father and my uncle Carson both served in World War II. My father was a Seabee stationed on Guam and my uncle was an Army infantryman who fought in the Philippines. He saw hand-to hand action against the Japanese, something he will never talk about.

    As for myself, I served in Desert Storm with Delta Battery 1-5 FA, 1st. Infantry Division.

  5. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie UNITED STATES

    Wow, thank you Sire! Guess I’ll start off. Like I said on the Pearl Harbor post I had three blood uncles who fought in WWII. My Uncle Robert, the eldest of 18 was at Pearl Harbor. He stayed in Hawaii for the duration of the war. When he spoke of that day, there was hatred in his voice. He would always say “We were at peace damnit!” He’s 93 now, feeble and frail, but the strength is still in his voice.

    My Uncle Ed was the next to join. He was the second eldest and a senior in High School in ‘41. The entire graduating class, 18 males, joined up. He was the only Marine. He joined up with the 1st MarDiv just in time to make it to Guadalcanal. He told me about having to eat Japanese rice they took off of the corpses of Japs because the Navy had bugged out on em after the Battle of Savo Island. He was bitter about that, felt the Navy had abandoned them. He told me about how after the Battle of the Tenaru River they went out to police the battlefield of wounded and when the first corpsman tried to treat a wounded Jap, he was bayoneted. The next one had a grenade pulled on him. After that they just shot every Jap they saw, dead, wounded, didn’t matter. He said that the nights on the line were the worst. They had a strict no movement policy, no one left their holes for any reason. Anything moving was Jap and was shot. One time the sun came up and they saw that the Jap they had shot was actually a Marine out of his hole. I think he regretted that more than he let on. They would sit in their holes and hear a Jap jump into the hole next to them, hear the struggle, the gurgle as a knife found it’s mark, and they wouldn’t know until morning if the head that would pop up would be their buddies, or a Japs. He never spoke of the buddies he lost, that was the only thing he never talked about. He had a buddy who was killed on the Goetge patrol. That was all he said about it.

    On Pelelieu he told me how his squad had stopped for a rest break next to a dead Jap machine gunner. The gunner was still seated behind his gun, the top half of his head missing. His skull cavity had filled with rain water and they would flip chunks of coral into it to hear the plunk. I later read the same account in Eugen Sledges book “With the Old Breed” and wondered if he had been with Ed, or if one of them had “borrowed” a sea story from someone else.

    Ed later transferred to the 3rd MarDiv when it was refitting for Iwo Jima and landed there with them. When I saw the movie “Flags of Our Fathers” it was exactly as Ed had described it. When the first flag went up you could the cheers of the Marines over the gunfire. All the ships blew their horns. That flag meant no more Jap fire form their rear, it meant they were that closer to victory. They could have cared less about the second flag raising, the one that everyone knows from Rosenthal’s photo.

    After the war he stayed in the Corps, landing at Inchon and making the long walk at the Chosin Reservoir. The 1st MarDiv had been cut off and surrounded by seven ChiCom divisions. When asked what he thought of the situation the CG of 1st MarDiv had said “We have them exactly were we want ‘em”. They fought their way out, 36 miles, taking their dead and wounded with them.

    Ed was never wounded. All of his scars were from bar fights and jealous husbands. He lived a hard life and was the hard man you would expect. He made my life a living hell getting me ready for boot camp, but I may not have made it if he hadn’t. Ed left the Corps in ‘68. He died on Easter Sunday of ‘93 of cancer while I held his hand, wasted away from 230 pounds of hard muscle to 110 pounds of weak flesh. An hour before he died was the only time I ever heard him say “I love you”. It was also the only time as an adult I ever cried.

    My Uncle Paul was drafted into the Army Air Corps in ‘43 and became a bombardier on a B-17G. He was one of only 3 enlisted bombardiers in his group. They had recruited people who were good gunners to be bombardiers for the new B-17G’s which had chin turrets. He flew 32 or 36 missions, three of which were against Berlin and one on the “controversial” Dresden Raids.

    One mission he called his “Miracle Mission”. His B-17 had climbed to fast in heavy clouds and stalled. When the pilot pushed it over it went to far and went into an unrecoverable dive. Paul said it took every muscle he had to fight the G’s and reach the jettison switch so that the bird would be lighter. It took three people pulling on the yoke to pull her out of that dive. They limped back and had to ditch just short of our lines. His whole crew E&E’d until they met up with a grunt unit. After the war Paul became a teacher and still lectures High School students on his experiences in the war.

    I had three uncles by marriage who also served in WWII. My Uncle Noah was with the 78th Infantry Division in the ETO. He was at the Bulge, fought at Achen and helped seize the Remaggen Bridge, the first bridge into Germany we took. He had a Mauser he took off of a German prisoner right at the end of war that he used to deer hunt with. He died in ‘02.

    My Uncle Herb served on a heavy cruiser in the Atlantic and shelled the Normandy beaches. My Uncle Vernon was on a sub-tender in the Pacific.

    My Uncle Kenny was a truck driver in Viet Nam. The hardest part of the war for him was the kids. He had a soft spot for children. He would write my grandma and tell her he was safe in the rear when in actuality he was running convoys up Highway 1 into I Corps, one of the most dangerous highways in Viet Nam.

    My cousin Amanda just finished her first pump in Iraq with HMLA 369. She said she joined the Corps because she remembered seeing me in my Blues when she was three. She will probably be going back soon.

    Further back in history I have two great uncles who were with Lafayette when he came over here to help out the colonists in the Revolution. One of their sons, Ramey, was later a General of Infantry with Napoleon. He died of traumatic amputation of a shattered knee at the Battle of Leipzig. Today his name is inscribed on the west side of the Arc De Triumph in Paris, a holdover from when the French actually won battles.

    Another great uncle, whose name escapes me, was a cavalryman on the frontier in the 1880’s and 90’s. Don’t know much about him. He died on the plains and my family never learned how or where.

    I won’t talk about my service, it was nothing in comparison, however my son, crunchie Jr., will be joining the Corps soon and carrying on the legacy. I pray that he does the Corps and his ancestors proud, and comes home safe.

    Thats my tribute to my family members who have fought and sacrificed so that my children may grow up free. And I remember them and all their brethren today and every day.

  6. jaybear Comment by jaybear UNITED STATES

    When I was a teenager, my best friends Dad and I got to be pretty friendly. He was the tower chief at our local airport in the Denver area and had been flying since HE was a teenager. He and I had a music exchange going on where we would swap record albums and sit around and discuss music. He especially loved the fusion stuff I was listening to at the time, stuff like Weather Report and Chick Corea etc… I found out that he had flown F86 Sabres during the Korean War, I was a military history freak even back then and I kept bugging him to tell me some stories but he never did.

    I moved away from Denver in 1982 and relocated in Washington state. My friends Dad was mowing the lawn one day in 1985 and keeled over dead from a heart attack…very unexpected. I couldn’t make it back to the funeral but visited my friend a couple of months later. He told me about rummaging through his Dad’s military stuff, and how he found his flight logs and other papers stashed away. I guess one of the things he found was a detailed description of a ground attack mission that his Dad had flown. He and his squadron had attacked a North Korean truck convoy and shot the hell out of it, inflicting many casualties. What he didn’t know until he made a low pass over the shot up convoy was that the NoKo’s had interspersed truckloads of civilians in their supply convoy to discourage air attacks. His Dad had just shot the hell out of truckloads of civilians, thinking that they were part of the supply convoy. From what my buddy has told me, that must have accounted for his Dad’s problems later in life, he had a serious drinking problem and suffered from depression. His Dad retired from his ATC duties two years before his death, he sobered up and took up golf which became an obsession with him. He died just as he was coming to grips with the demons inside him….He was one hell of a nice guy, always shaking my hand when I showed up at their door and grilling me about any new music I knew of…If I had known about that mission and how much it affected him, I wouldn’t have pestered him so much about war stories. I’m glad that he found some peace in the last few years of his life, I’m still good friends with his son and see him about once a year…we talk about both of our Dads now as they have both gone on to a better place.

    I’m reminded of my friends Dad and that story whenever I find myself in the company of an old combat vet. I can’t imagine the memories and nightmares that they must endure….but endure they did, without the help of therapists or grief counselors or lawyers and they rebuilt an entire world torn apart by war. and, to a man, they are proud of their service and their achievements….so am I, for they are made of better stuff than me….talk about nobility

  7. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    My grandfather was in the signal corps in the Pacific in WWII. He had freinds at Bataan, and NEVER forgave the Japanese for their actions there. He didn’t talk about it much, buthad no lack of contempt for them.

    A friend of mine’s Dad was in a recon unit in Vietnam. We were all sitting around one night drinking beers and being knuckleheads. He ccame outside, grabbed a beer, and talked about finding VC units and calling in air strikes on their positions. He said that the B-52s were a hell of a lot more accurate then they have ever been credited with. He said after the strikes were done, you could almost snap a chalk line along the outside edges of the bombing areas. He got this far off look in his eye before he finished the beer and went back inside. I had a lot more respect for his old man after that.

  8. PFC Krondax Comment by PFC Krondax UNITED STATES

    my grandfather (moms side) served before WWII, what he did, we do not know, he never said. my dad was the only one of 4 sons who did not serve due to a bum knee. Me, im headed off to Basic Feb 28th!.

  9. TPCrasher78 Comment by TPCrasher78 UNITED STATES

    Well, here it goes.

    My Grandpa Alfred, my dad’s father, was born in 1926. Raised in Oklahoma. When he graduated high school in 1944, he was drafted in the US Army, sent to boot camp and by the end of the summer was on the Queen Mary, now a troop ship, to England. All they ate was Spam- aka potted meat, and drank cold non-sweetened tea. And to make it worse the seas were choppy that time of the year, so they were all bowing to Ralph The Porcelain God. When they got to England, they say US Red Cross Nurses, surely they had donuts, coffee, hamburgers, right? Nope, more SPAM and more tea. They were disgusted so they just took their ammo, their rifles, and their gear and went to kill Nazis. Apparently feeding our guys shit worked, because they killed enough Germans to get home to good ole steak, ribs, and all REAL MEAT. While over there, Gramps was in the US 4th ID, under Major General Raymond Barton, who was under George Patton’s 3rd Army Group. Those guys kicked ass from the hedgerows to Holland, then the offensive ground to a halt about November, December 1944. So they thought, because a few days before Christmas the Nazis sent 4 Main Armies, including an SS Panzer Army to annihilate the US and Allied Troops. Gramps spent Christmas dodging artillery fire, splintering trees, frostbite, and Nazi frickin snipers. No White Christmas for these guys. And I think at somepoint as the battle wound down, they were toured the Malmedy Massacre sight, where a dozen SS Assholes, machine gunned and killed 120 US POWs, unarmed. One survivor was later an actor in Hollywood, that was Charles Durning. Anyway Gramps unit fought across the Rhine into the heart of Germany. Along the way, they found hell on earth. These farmboys and taxi drivers that the left so despises found a Nazi death camp. One of hundreds the Nazis built to exterminate over 6 million Jews, 2-3 M Gypsies, millions of Poles, Russians, Czechs, Yugoslavians, French Resistance, Christians, Jehovah’s witnesses, homosexuals, and anyone whom did not meet the Nazi Master Race requirements. From that point my gramps never cracked any Jew jokes and was pro-Israel all the way since 1948. He caught a bad fever in late April 1945 and was hospitalized through May. He was sent home, honorable discharge and got a medal or two- he never said a thing about them til a year or so ago. Now, when Saddam was caught hiding in the spider crotch hole, Gramps was eccstatic as the 4th ID, his old division caught the bastard. He mentioned wishing they’d got Hitler, Fatso Goering, Himmler, and Goebbels alive. Not to be imprisoned, but to be hanged in public, and given the Mussolini treatment.

    His older brother, was killed in 1944, in the Philippines while fighting to retake Luzon, as part of MacArthur’s island hopping. To this day my grandfather will hold the Japanese in contempt and is adamant that they owe the US an apology for Pearl Harbor, Bataan, etc. and of course the Brits apologies for Singapore, the River Kwai POW death camps, the sinking of the Repulse/Prince of Wales battleships, etc……

    My other grandfather was born about 1925. He lost hearing in one of his ears before he was 15, and when he turned 18, the draft board gave him 4F for combat. However, he served in an arsenal in McAlester Oklahoma supplying the GIs with bullets and bombs to wipe out the Nazi and Japanese scum.

    That’s my fam, in a nutshell.

  10. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    No blood relatives (except for my grandfather, who fought on the German side in WWI, which doesn’t count.)

    But:

    My closest friend since childhood is back from a year in the sandbox, spent training the new Iraqi National Guard. He endured mortar attacks twice to three times weekly, sniper fire and having been personally targeted with an RPG. (It struck the wall behind him and didn’t detonate.) He was fine until he got home, whereupon he went into the basement, sat down in his easy chair and shook for an entire day. He’s finally completed PTSD treatment at the VA and is back with his family for what promises to be a fine Christmas.

    Another boyhood friend and college classmate is also back from a year in Iraq. An SF Combat Diver when he was enlisted, he’s now a physician/epidemiologist and was recently promoted to Lt. Colonel. He will also be spending this Christmas with his family.

    My wife’s grandfather enlisted in the USMC in WWII. He was seriously wounded in action on Tarawa. We plan to spend Christmas with him this year.

    We seldom pause to consider the silent courage and heroism that surrounds us. As a resident I learned that one of my patients, whom I had helped enroll in hospice, was a B-29 navigator in the 509th Composite Group - and that he’d been among the planes and crews that bombed Nagasaki. (He died peacefully, surrounded by his family.)

    Another patient was a B-24 Liberator pilot in the Pacific. After a distinguished career, he worked for Howard Hughes and served as a flight engineer aboard the “Spruce Goose.”

    Yesterday, I learned that one of my very ill patients was an aerial photoreconnaisance expert and was among the first to discover that the Japanese had invaded the Aleutians. His work carried him from there to the Amazon, in search of German subs.

    There are many others, but fewer every year. We are still fortunate that we have but to listen and we can hear tales of greatness, told in a quiet and unassuming voice.

  11. Naviguesser Comment by Naviguesser UNITED STATES

    My family has a long history of military service.

    Great-Grandfather wounded in the Argonne in 1918;

    Great-Uncle aboard USS North Carolina in WWII when she was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine;

    another Great Uncle with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines at Chosin in Korea (he later went on to serve in Vietnam);

    My parents, Navy Seabees both;

    and litte ol’ nine-years-in-the-Marine-Corps me. My single OIF deployment (2003) wasn’t much more than a protracted hunt for beer and booze in any form I could obtain it (no details lest the UCMJ come back from beyond the grave I have buried it in since getting out to bite me in the ass) and “accidentally” leaving MRE ham-slices on the steps of various mosques. Yay me!

  12. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie UNITED STATES

    There is another vet in my family that I forgot about in my earlier post. My cousin Ralph was a Marine rifleman in Viet Nam. I know very little about his service as I hardly knew him. All I remember of him from my youth was borrowing his barracks cover so I could portray a Marine in my school play in the 4th grade.

    I didn’t see him again until my uncle Ed’s funeral. I was in my uniform and we talked about Ed’s service at his viewing. When we parted I thanked him for his service in Viet Nam and for the legacy his generation of Marines had left for my generation.

    His wife later told me that when he got home to the farm that night he pulled out his shadow box and wept. First time in her whole life she ever saw him cry. She said that he told her no one had ever thanked him for his service before.

    To Ralph and to all of our Viet Nam veterans, I am sorry that you did not receive the thanks and honor you so truly deserve. I am sorry our nation turned it’s back on you. I for one am deeply indebted to you for what you did. THANK YOU for your service. God Bless you all.

  13. LC Joe D,  A&IG/GWN Comment by LC Joe D, A&IG/GWN CANADA

    There will be a wealth of memories, history and information on this post. A great idea Crunchie.
    From a different angle, here goes;

    My mother’s side were all Army with a relative being at the Battle of Inkerman during the Crimean War (1854) and another in the 2nd Afghan War who was in the 92nd Gordon Highlanders and fought at Kandahar and at Gundi Mulla Sahibdad alongside the 2nd Gurkhas.
    Her father (my Grandad) was in the Northumberland Fusiliers and fought on the Somme in WW1 where he was 3 times wounded. He became a firewatcher in the Home Guard during WW2 and braved Luftwaffe bombs to rescue Italian POW’s trapped in a burning school/jail.
    My Uncle S was captured at Dunkirk and sat out the war in captivity. he volounteered for duty during the Korean war and served on the Imjin River.

    My father’s side were all navy and still haven’t forgiven the Dutchman, van Tromp, for burning the English fleet in the 1600’s! Grandad in the RNVR and my Dad in the RN. he did a pre-war tour on HMS Hood and served on HMS Warspite in the Med. Trained as a gun layer and later as a Mine Warfare technician. Swept mines off the Dutch/Belgian/French coasts on D-Day and after. Fought E-Boats in the Chanel and the North Sea and dodged Luftwaffe bombs. Stayed after the war to clear the seal lanes for the safety of commerce and passengers to come.
    He was my hero and died this year on your Memorial Day. I miss him. The piper at his funeral was a WW2 Army vet and after his slow march away from the gravesite, he stopped and turned and saluted. There aren’t many left and I think he felt a kinship though Army and Canadian. They were seperated by Service and Country yet were Comrades in Arms. A great generation, indeed. There wasn’t a dry eye at the gravesite.
    My Dad’s brother werved at Bletchley Park during WW2. ‘Nuff said.

    My own service time pales in comparison (25 years)
    Two MOS’s. Combat Engineer and later Intel Analyst in the field and HQ environments. Jumped a few times plus skydiving.
    Had one UN tour (Cyprus) and two NATO tours(Germany). Have been attached to The RCR and the Canadian Black Watch and have deployed to Norway (ACE) and Canadian Arctic operations.

    It is an honour to post this here alongside the recordings from America’s finest. I hold the magnificent men and women of the US Armed Forces in the highest of regards and, as old as I am, would gladly take up arms alongside them, with my Canadian comrades, should the need arise.

    Honi Soit Qui Mal e Pense

  14. MasterGuns Comment by MasterGuns UNITED STATES

    I think you all know my story.

    I enlisted on 3 Mar 1968….retired 1st time on 2 Jul 1991.

    I was recalled at my own request on 22 Sept 01 and retired final time 7 May 04.

    I served in war 5 times…..got hurt 3.

    I have the same “gongs” and a spare that Kerry has but mine cost me a bunch of time in the hospital.

    Semper Fi

  15. Grits Comment by Grits UNITED STATES

    My dad was in the Army and a machine gunner on Saipan, but never talked of it. I had an uncle that drove the Burma Road and another that served on destroyers during WW II. I guess I got brainwashed by Victory at Sea and joined the Navy in 1961 at the end of puberty and got married right after puberty. I served for 30 years and wouldn’t trade the time and comaraderie for anything.

    I think there is a special fire that burns in those that serve and a unique awareness of right and wrong and an ability to sense evil. I have often sat on my deck and wished that somehow I could go to Iraq. I know it is an old fool’s dream. I can’t run or jump anymore, but I can still shoot and I still know right from wrong and can recognize evil when I see it. Sad to say, the way things are going, it looks like I may get my wish, but I will be doing it from my deck. I am not at all sure the Second American Revolution is far off.

    Grits

  16. jmaimarc Comment by jmaimarc ISRAEL

    My father’s father server in WWII in the Navy ferrying merchants and hunting Wolf Packs across the North Atlantic. He was a fireman’s mate in the engine room of DE 241 USS Keith, and served on other ships whose names I can’t remember.

    He says he spent the entire time of his service seasick :-)

  17. Unregistered Comment by Subvet

    MasterGuns, how were you able to come out of permanent retirement once you had gone past the 30th anniversary of your enlistment in 68? I tried doing that same thing and was unable to. The stated reason was that those who had been moved to the permanently retired list are ineligible for reactivation.

    For the civilians here who don’t know what I’m talking about, those retired after 20 years service but with less than 30 years are placed in a retired reserve status until they reach what would have been the anniversary of their 30th year, had they elected to stay in for that length of time. After that they’re put on the permanently retired list, which as I stated was quoted to me as the ironclad reason why I couldn’t be reactivated.

    Evidently you know something that BUPERS doesn’t allow to be common knowledge. If you’d pass it on I’d like to take a second shot at being reactivated.

  18. GenVatutin Comment by GenVatutin UNITED STATES

    My father served aboard the USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71) from 1943 to 1944 as a gunners mate. He was only sixteen when he went into the Navy.

    He served during the Battle of Samar in tthe Phillipines. His love of aircraft from serving aobard a US aircraft carrier led him to start an aircraft fasteners business in the 60s which is still operating.

    He told me during the shelling of TF3 by Kurita’s cruiser group, they didn’t sense the danger because the only thing they could do was to watch.

    My father passed away on August 2006. He was of the greatest generarion and he will be missed.

  19. Unregistered Comment by seagoon

    One granddad served with Lovatt, and described him as ‘totally bonkers’. This is a man who at age 70 (5′3″, and frail), scared off four punks in the early 80’s (when Britain was rife with violent punks) by pulling out his commando killing knife and saying “when I was your age I was killing Krauts with this- why can’t you do something useful?”

    Another great-uncle navigated a Lancaster for 417, was shot down, and taken on a tour of Hamburg after the firestorms. He didn’t talk much about it, afterwards….

    Both men gentle, loving souls, pacifists to the core- until they got the call. Both wrestled the rest of their lives with their demons, but never once regretted their service.

    (to be fair, I think Granddad rather enjoyed his…)

  20. Unregistered Comment by Argive UNITED STATES

    My great-grandfather served in the American Expeditionary Force in the First World War, and was in the Argonne Forest. I have his old service pistol and about 50 pages of war letters sitting in my house. Reading those letters is incredibly sobering. The first time I did, I was 15, and a particular line seared itself on my brain:

    “This is not a gentleman’s war, and not a game, as England thought it was at the start, but a horrific contest in which a man’s life is not worth a farthing, and sometimes less than that. Fritz started this - bombing Lusitanias and gassing men - and now it seems our only option is to play his game and indeed - beat him at it.

    He never went back to Europe after the Great War ended.

    My grandfather served in the navy during the Second World War. He was on a destroyer escort, and one night his ship was almost hit by a kamikaze, which flew around looking for it after they had killed the engine and all the lights. Eventually the kamikaze hit a wire and crashed in the ocean. I never knew my grandfather, and so do not know much more than this about his service.

    Finally, my step-grandfather was also in the navy during the Second World War. He was an air traffic controller aboard the USS Vesole, and was stationed near Nagasaki during the Occupation. He passed away in March.

    Rest in Peace, all three.

  21. maxxdog Comment by maxxdog UNITED STATES

    My brother was in the Marines and served in ‘Nam for 8 mos until he was wounded by a booby trap. He was an FO up in the Khe San, Da Nang and Hue City areas and lived to tell about it, although he doesn’t.
    My Dad helped build the AlCan Highway during WW2 and although he wasn’t in the service I’ll include that here. I wouldn’t have wanted to have been on that little project.
    My service wasn’t much. Navy in the early 70’s on a destroyer. Sat off the coast of “Nam waiting for something to happen that never did. Did get to spend 90 days in Olongopo, though.

  22. kingaljr Comment by kingaljr UNITED STATES

    My father was career Army with a 4 year stint in the Navy for yucks.He served in Korea and Vietnam but most of his time in Germany.
    Me,3 years Army from 72′ to 75′ as a truck driver and MP in Germany.

  23. lclizglor Comment by lclizglor UNITED STATES

    my grandfather served in WWII. was sent to germany for a couple years. thats all i know about that, he doesnt talk about it much to us “wimmin folk”. my cousin ed is a marine did his four and got out (got married, had a baby). my hubby joined the marines in 95. met and married me in 98. both his mom and dad were AD air force lifers. both retired now after putting in their 20. he was born in flagstaff, AZ but spent the first years of his life in Holland. he got out of the marines when his four was up in 99 not wanting to subject his new young family to the life of always moving moving moving that he and his sister endured. then sept 11 happened. he was on the IRR part of his contract and called up the nearest USMC recruiter to find out when he’d be called back and to update all his info. after a few weeks the recruiters called and said due to the high enlistment rate he probably wouldnt be called back and they werent going to let him come back active duty because “its cheaper for uncle sam to bring in a fresh new private than bring back an E5″ unless, of course hubby wouldnt mind being dropped down to E2 (maaaaybe E3 if they could really pull some strings) hubby was none too happy. his beloved country had been attacked and he wanted someones ass on a platter. the nearest military installation was an air force reserve base. they let him in, bumped him down to E4 but gave a nice sign on bonus. and in less than 6 months he was in iraq for the first time. during his second tour a la sandbox, the AF decided to cut 15,000 contracts and they brought him and most of his unit home early. he was pretty upset. he felt like his was leaving his guys behind. so he used up all the leave he had saved up, 90+ days, and entered the AD army via blue to green program. (he had to use the leave or he’d loose it, and even for someone as gung ho as him he’s not gonna just toss away three months of time off after two almost back to back tours) Now he’s on his third tour of the sandbox and he’s as happy as a fly on shit. He just recently picked back up his E5 so he’s definatly happy about that, his only downer is he is missing his baby girls (homecoming baby of 2nd deployment :D ) first year. but as he says “i fight now, so my children dont have to later”.

  24. LC Woody Comment by LC Woody UNITED STATES

    My great uncle has a hell of a story. He was a mercenary hired by the Chinese to kill Japanese infiltrators prior to America’s entry into WWII. After Pearl Harbor he joined the Army and served in the Pacific. I did a post about him that tells the story:

    http://alanwoody.blogs.com/woodys_news_views/2005/07/its_just_some_l.html

    My grandfather was in Europe during WWII, serving in the “Longneck” artillery battallion in the Battle Of The Bulge. He never talked much about it, so I don’t have much info about his experience.

  25. Unregistered Comment by taelani

    My Grandfather on my dad’s side was in the Air force during WWII. He tells a great story of a time when in Germany, he saw a sign (in German) across a field that he wanted to take home with him. So he stepped across a rope, walked across the field, pried the sign off the wall it was attached to, and walked back across the field. When he got back to the other side, he was stopped by some base personnel that asked him if he knew what he had just done… The field was roped off because it was a minefield, and he walked across it twice, safely. I think he guardian Angel was working overtime that day.

    My mothers father was in the Navy during WWII, and was stationed at Pearl Harbor sometime during his tour. Unfortunately, he passed away when my mother was 19, so I don’t know a whole lot about his service.

    My dad was in Army ROTC while he was in college, but got a discharge when he had to leave college after marrying my mother and having me unexpectedly.

    I joined the Army Reserves in Aug of 2003 at the age of 30, and shipped to basic combat training in January of 2004. Unfortunately, I got hurt and was unable to complete my training, even after spending 6 months in a rehab company and received a medical discharge in December of 2004. I’m not sure if I’d technically be considered a vet or not, but I gave it my all while I was in and it’s one of my biggest regrets that I could not complete the training.

  26. Unregistered Comment by Aethilgar

    My father was a pilot for the USAF and Top Secret document currier during the French-Algerian War. He also flew planes that tracked our U-2s over Cuba. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and, after retiring from the Air Force, went on to work for the Navy on the civilian side.

    One my parents most interesting stories of his time in active duty was during the French-Algerian War. My mother and father had recently married and they were stationed in Morocco. They lived off base and; due to the nature of my father’s missions, never knew when he’d be home. So they came up with with a code involving wing and flap movements so that he could tell her roughly when to expect him, be it that evening or a week from then.

    My father gave the code one day for being gone for about a week. And… he simply didn’t come home. A week went by… and started to become two weeks… and nothing. So, there is my mother, 18 years old, from a small town in Alabama, recently married, didn’t speak Moroccan or French, and now without her husband. To say it was a harrowing time would be an understatement. She befriended an old Moroccan man who kept her from being cheated while she shopped, a troop of French soldiers who she could walk escorted to the base with, and a neighbor’s dog who chased off a burglar one night (lucky for him… mom’s a heck of a shot). Each of which is a story in it’s own right.

    So what happened? Well, she went to the base and was denied access… as they could find no record of her husband stationed there. In fact, they could find no record of him in the Air Force at all. She received the same denial from the Red Cross and American Embassy. He simply didn’t exist. Then, one day, he came home. Just like that.

    My father would not talk about it for years, and years. Mom would tell her stories at the dinner table and, when my siblings and I would look wide-eyed to dad and ask, “what happened?” he’d just smile and change the subject. But recently he’s begun to speak about some about it. About his being forced down in Algeria while he was conducting intelligence gathering missions. Apparently he’d received notification that much of his spy work at the time had been declassified and that he could start talking about it.

    The reason I bring up this particular story is two-fold. First and foremost, let us not only remember those or our great nation who stand in harm’s way in our armed forces but spare a moment for those who they leave behind. They support our great men and women often times not knowing if they will ever see them again. It takes a measure of courage to go off to war… and an equal measure of courage to send off a loved one with a supportive smile.

    Second, to remember the hardship that some suffer above and beyond the call of duty… that of not being able to be open with those closest to you, either due to the horrors one has faced or as a matter of classification. It is another source of stress in any close relationship, surely. It’s also a lesson the MSM could learn from.

    (this tale told with the approval and confirmation of the Lt Col (Ret) and Mrs, aka: Dad and Mom)

  27. Unregistered Comment by Canine Pundit UNITED STATES

    My brother is an ANG Master Sergeant currently serving in Iraq. This isn’t the first time he’s gone to war and, judging by the letter I received yesterday, it won’t be the last.

    He stated in his message that the men and women under his direction are the greatest Americans of their generation, and we should thank God that our nation continues to produce such fine individuals.

    Good luck, and God speed, Chief.

  28. Unregistered Comment by The Almighty Mattski

    Ten years Marine, myself (1982-92 - Assault Amphib; no combat, not complaining). My father was 28-years Navy, retired on his way to Commodore. Got two Defense Medals (highest peacetime award) for his work in satellite image interp and other intelligence goodies.

    My great Uncle served from 1940 to 1946 in the 36th Infantry Division and assaulted Salerno, San Pietro, San Angelo/Rapido River, Anzio, Southern France, the Lost Batt’n in the Rhône Valley, crossed the Moselle River, earned the Silver Star against the Siegfried Line, and eventually ended up in Austria near Inssbrück. Never got a scratch, though Lord knows how. I remember asking him when I was a child whether he had the Purple Heart. He told me that’s the one medal nobody wants!

    My other great Uncle was in the Army in the Pacific Theoter and was on a troop ship on its way to invade Japan when the news came through that Japan had surrendered. He was an MP and spent 18-months in Japan guarding Tokyo Rose, Hideki Tojo, and their band of fellow ilk. He then went on to serve in Korea. I spoke with him recently and he told me about being in Korea, that each of them had been issued a white sheet. They carried those sheets for months before he finally asked a supply sergeant why they had them. He told them that it was so they would have something to bury them in (this was before body bags). My uncle said he got rid of that damn thing as fast as he could!

    Yet another great Uncle was too young for WW1 and too old for WW2, so he worked as a welder on the USS MASSACHUSETTES. He couldn’t fight, but he’d be damned if he wasn’t going to contribute somehow.

    My grandfather, who immigrated to the US in 1922 from Italy, drove trucks for the Army contractor who delivered milk to the Army posts and POW camps. An amusing tale he once told: He would drive in and pick up a bunch of Italian POWs to help load the milk. Then he’d go home (with the Italian POWs) and have lunch, all eight or ten of them, then drive to the dairy, pick up the milk, and deliver it to the camps. One day, when he was done, he was driving out of the camp and the sentries were checking his truck. The MPs asked him to come back and see something. When he did, there were about a dozen Italian POWs in the back. He asked them “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” and they answered “We’re going to your house for dinner.” My grandfather chased them out: “Get the hell outta my truck!”

    God bless all of you out there serving; you have my undying love and admiration!

    Semper Fi,
    Mattski
    Sergeant of Marines

  29. MasterGuns Comment by MasterGuns UNITED STATES

    Subvet asked…”how were you able to come out of permanent retirement once you had gone past the 30th anniversary of your enlistment in 68?”

    Because of my MOS and clearance, I’m subject to recall until my 62nd birthday regardless of my 30 year anniversary provided that the recall doesn’t put me over 30 years ACTIVE service.

    Semper Fi

  30. LC & IB Random Numbers Comment by LC & IB Random Numbers UNITED STATES

    Nothing special. 1.5 years at the Coast Guard Yard doing MMA on the 210′ cutters, then ET school, then the remaining 2 years on the Barque Eagle, training cadets.
    One SAR case, and test platfoming and writing a recommendation on a new (at the time) PC based integrated nav system over a similar MAC based system (Eagle TP’d a lot of com and nav gear for the Coast Guard at the time).

    The only real excitement I saw was the many times Captain Wood steered us toward the storms for “good training”.

  31. Kristopher Comment by Kristopher UNITED STATES

    Hmmm … none for myself. My younger brother served in Germany during the 1980s … had a psychotic break, and is now a ward of the State of Oregon.

    My uncle served in the army during the Korean War … he rather liked my PPSH-41, said it was nice to be firing one instead of having one fired at him.

    One of my grand uncles spent about a week in a foxhole on Tarawa with a hip broken by a jap MG bullet … waiting for his buddies to advance far enough so that it was safe to evacuate him.

  32. Lord Nazh Comment by Lord Nazh UNITED STATES

    No stories from me :(

    Just want to say THANK YOU to all the men and women who have protected me and my family through the years.

    You people make this country the great thing it is!

  33. warthog_62 Comment by warthog_62 UNITED STATES

    Well let’s see, I know that my Uncle was in the Army and my Dad was in the Marine Corps in the 50’s and I know that my dad was in communications (radio and phone) and that he just missed being called back for Korea. I do not know much about my uncle’s service.

    I was Navy from 1981-1985 as an HT and served aboard the 6th fleet flagship USS Puget Sound AD38 from 82-84. I was serving there for the Beruit thing. We also wandered down to cross Khaddafhi’s “line of death”.

    I finished my enlistment aboard the USS Caloosahatchee AO(J) 98. Navy vets, you ever heard the tales about an unhappy ship? They’re all true. What a piece of crap.

    I still shoulda stayed for my 20, was the best time of my life and helps explain my fanatical support of the troops, regardless of uniform.

  34. thetay Comment by thetay

    Let’s see. My dad’s father served in Europe during WWII as an Army sergeant mechanic for the whole war, and a significant part of the occupation, but was back by ‘51 when my dad was born. I was never able to pry out of him what he got up to over there before he died, but he sure learned something, as he started a successful tool and die business in Detroit, and to this day, seems to be the only person (living or deceased) in the entire world who my father is afraid of.

    My mom’s dad rated as a pilot just after D-Day, but got a blood disease just before shipping out to Europe, and was assigned to the Pacific just before the A-bombs dropped. He served in Austrialia and California(up until ‘64 or so) after a brief stint in Occupied Japan, as an Air Force test pilot, and the CO of most of the Gemini astronauts (being too tall for the quite small capsules at the time).

  35. Unregistered Comment by nerbygirl UNITED STATES

    Wow. Those are some great stories! Thanks for sharing them, everyone!
    LC Crunchie: Hell, Crunchie YOU can pinch my ass.
    Thank you all for your service, and for keeping my family safe.
    My husband sends a big Semper Fi to all of you.
    God Bless the US armed forces!

  36. Unregistered Comment by Tennessee Budd UNITED STATES

    As for family, I had several antecedents who fought for Southern independence.
    Myself, US Navy Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technician (AX) 1988-92. Served aboard USS John F. Kennedy (ship’s company) and USS Forrestal (airwing out of NAS Cecil Field). Currently working with an Army recruiter to get back into The Game.

  37. juandos Comment by juandos UNITED STATES

    Some damned interesting stuff here folks… Thanks for posting it…

    My father was a bottom turret gunner (staff sargent and armorer) on a B-29 in the Pacific and the head honcho of the Army-Air Force at the time was Gen. Curtis LeMay

    One of the things my father told me (and he didn’t tell me much all things considered) about his WWII experiences that shocked the hell out of me was one of LeMay’s standing orders when there was nothing else left to bomb anywhere in Japan was to have all his B-29s were to fly at 500 feet or lower and machine gun anything and everything that might even give the hint of moving…

    This, “anything and everything” included people, any people regardless of whether they were in uniform or not…

    It wasn’t until I was in high school that I understood what Gen. LeMay was accomplishing, breaking the will of the people to carry on war…

    I shudder to think what sort of trouble Gen. LeMay would’ve been in the P.C. climate today if he was running the Iraqi battle front that way…

    I’m guessing if Curtis LeMay type had been around now he would’ve been drummed out of the service during the Clinton administration…

  38. LC Mike in Chi Comment by LC Mike in Chi UNITED STATES

    My dad was a trainer in the 2D Marine aircraft wing in the Pacific teaching Devil-Dogs the Norden bombsite. He had college mathmatics and joined up at a request from a teacher during his schooling. Boy, you don’t hear that happening nowadays.
    He told me once that the reason Marines were needed for this duty was to insure that the bombsites were destroyed if the plane had to ditch.
    They were to take their service 45cal and ‘place’ five rounds into the device then use the remaining rounds in the clip to shoot-out the plexi-glass dome (he called it a bubble), so that they had an exit from the plane. Was he pulling my socks down?
    Jumpin’ Jebus!
    The aircraft would be screaming into a final run, he shoots his gun off in an enclosed space no bigger then a broom closet and because the bombardier is under the pilot’s seat he could not exit the way he came in. He has to shoot out a windscreen if he wants out. The bubble is in the nose and one would have to clear the whole length of the aircraft before deploying their chute.
    Yeah, it took a Marine to carry out that order.
    I had a neighbor who was Army with Damned-of-Bataan. The only thing he would tell me about that is, he would get awakened each morning with the butt of a rifle for three years. He honored me when he had to move to Quincy Illinois’s Vet home and gave me all of his mechanics tools. Two Snap-On roller boxes stuffed with goodies. He said he wanted someone who would use them, not lose them. That man was vested and had cards in four unions and told me stories of driving a four-horse team seed wagon when he was thirteen and had to stand up to hold the reins. He was 5′ 7″, had hands that looked like they were made from rough concrete but, was so gentle, he could talk a butterfly into landing in his palm.
    I rent a room to a Marine Viet Nam vet who just turned 65. He was born on December 7th, 1941. His mom didn’t hear about Pearl Harbor’s attack until the next day. He was in ‘Nam during the Tet Offensive. I give him computer tech and IT help, keep him connected and let him chew my ear for hours some days on the state of the nation.
    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my in-laws.
    My Father-in-law was 27 years old in 1942 when he enlisted. He was the other ‘old man’ in his company.
    He did North Africa Army Corps of Engineers and built bridges all through the fight in Italy. He was first generation German-American and told me he was proud to do his service. My mom-in-law just died last November at the ripe old age of 92. She was the only draftswoman in a company that made war equipment for excavating. She told me that when her husband came home he told her everything that he could remember and talked to the wee hours of the morning, then, never mentioned his service again. He wouldn’t watch any war movies and lived to be 83. He was a carpenter and union treasurer until he retired at 72 years old. He passed in 1992.
    My father was a carpenter and reared 11 children. I’m #1 son and the only veteran of my siblings. I joined the Navy ten days after my 18th b-day in ‘73 and became a sonar-tech on a destroyer out of San Diego. I was stationed on DDG-7, Henry B. Wilson and I have done 2.5 West-Pacs.
    In ‘75 we were sent to Viet Nam to help in the evacuation of Saigon. We guarded the ships that herded over four thousand people on barges to the immigrant camps later set up on Grande island in Subic Bay. When the Khmer-Rouge took the city they fired a 150mm in our general direction useing star shells in the early afternoon.
    Our trip back was delayed, however. We were called to assist an operation to free a merchant ship from Cambodian pirates. It turned into what is being called the last battle of Viet Nam. Operation USS Mayaguez had ‘em shooting at us again so we all ended up with two bronze stars and some unit citations for that and for Operation Eagle Pull and Operation Frequent Wind in the evac of Saigon.
    My oldest son joined the Army’s early enlistment program while still attending High School. He started boot in July of 2001 at Fort Knox. He was a driver/technician for the Patriot defense system and was stationed in Tel Aviv when we first started building/staging for Iraq’s invasion.
    I dragged ass after my four until Chicago had a spontanious parade for us Viet Nam vets in ‘86. An Aussie vet I met after the parade there thanked me personnaly for my service and my life hasn’t been without reward since.
    My Pops, father-in-law and that neighbor are now laughing with Jesus at our silly antics dealing with these islamo-nazis and political hacks, I’m sure.
    (They’re certainly giving Him the nudge to help us, too.)
    These are just a sample of the military influences in my life. I was never a VVAW and I support fully the troops, their efforts and the action America’s taking in the WoT.
    Thanks for the good words LC0311 Crunchie, and thanks O Great Imperator for the space and support.
    I had leaky eyes reading some of the LC’s comments and wish you all God’s blessings.
    Semper Fidelis!

  39. lclizglor Comment by lclizglor UNITED STATES

    Comment by The Almighty Mattski

    Ten years Marine, myself (1982-92 - Assault Amphib;

    thats the BN hubby was in with the marines too! he was an Amtrack driver out at CourtHouse Bay @ good ole Camp Lejuene from ‘95-’99

    small world!

  40. MCPO Airdale Comment by MCPO Airdale UNITED STATES

    My dad served in both WWII and Korea, 36 years active duty in the Army as a Field artilleryman. Twenty years enlisted and 16 years as a Chief Warrant Officer and Commissioned Officer. As a forward observer, he was wounded, twice, at Monte Casino. Wounded again in Korea when he led a Michigan National Guard battery that was over-run. Battlefield commission followed his return to Korea. Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Purple Hearts, Croix de Guerre and Air Medal with 3 clusters.

    I enlisted in the Navy in 1972 and served until 2002. Five different aircraft carriers, several squadrons and some interesting staff assignments. Libya, Lebanon, Grenada, Gulf War I and Bosnia. Highest award was the Legion of Merit.

  41. Unregistered Comment by anomdragon

    My family tale is not much all I remember is that my father was in the Navy as a sonar man in 51-53? and served on board a diesel sub. He did spend sometime around Korea just close enough to see it through the periscope. I was in the Navy from 71-77 as a Machinist mate. Yes, I was a snipe, but never went to Nam. I served 2yr shoreduty in Japan with the jarheads, then spent the last 3 years on board ship. The first ship was out of Yokouska and was an old WW2 destroyer so got to see some of the far east, then finished up on a Destroyer escort out of Charleston, S.C.. It was still a new ship less than 5 years old. mainly got to spend time in the carribean, Puerto Rico and Gitmo. It spent a year in the shipyard while I was on it. Just missed a Med cruise. I remeber someone mentioned they were coastie and had a commander that liked to go towards storms, we didn’t get that choice we went in the storms and played around, now that can be lots of fun….

  42. Unregistered Comment by waltj UNITED STATES

    Hmm, family military history. Let’s see…grandfather (mother’s side) served briefly in the Czar’s army. Being Polish, he wasn’t particularly excited about this, and having some connections, he was able to find a sympathetic doctor who helped him get medically discharged. My father served as an artillery FO in WWII. He never actually made it overseas, because he was badly injured in a traffic accident before deployment. He spent 13 months in the hospital, and ended up with a permanent disability. His brother (my uncle, obviously) was in the 26th Division, fought, and got a war-ending wound (but, fortunately, no permanent disability) on Saipan. Another uncle, on my mother’s side this time, was in the 3rd ID (Audie Murphy’s outfit), fought in Europe as an infantry sergeant, and came out of it unscathed. I was the first one of my generation in my family to enter the military, and our family’s first commissioned officer, Army ROTC, class of 1977. I spent a bit over 5 years on active duty, then spent the next 21 in the USAR, before retiring in 2003 as a lieutenant colonel. My son has gone in a different direction, picking the Navy instead, where he’s serving as naval flight officer with the rank of lieutenant. My father-in-law was a Marine NCO, who saw combat in both Korea and Vietnam, and retired as a master sergeant. One brother-in-law served a tour as a Surface Warfare Officer (i.e., ship driver) in the Navy, and a sister-in-law is a medical officer in the USAR. Our family managed to miss the Air Force somehow. So, no generals or admirals or Medal of Honor winners, but I think we’ve done our duty over the years.

  43. Unregistered Comment by Jalapeno

    My dad went into the air force during the Korean war and became a “lifer.” During the Viet Nam war he was stationed in Binh Thuy, and his best friend there was a swift boat commander for the navy. He had lots of funny (to us, his kids) stories, more that were not, and we never did know what he did to earn his bronze star and all the other medals he came home with. He said he always went to the bomb bunkers with a flashlight and his sidearm because of the snakes…he’d look anything on two legs in the eye and kill ‘em, but had a healthy fear of snakes! His good buddy (of the swift boat) was killed right before Dad came home. When asked what he did (for the bronze star) he just said, “Well, the cong were penetrating the perimeter and I just picked up the phone and called the navy to come shoot ‘em off the fence, and they did.” I might mention here that he was a sharpshooter, and in his little medal collection there are three of those “tet” hootii that go on the Viet Nam ribbon, so I guess he helped! He died in 1980, 42 days after his 48th birthday, of cancer; agent orange was stored in drums there at Binh Thuy. But he and his good navy buddy both would have LOVED Jon Carry’s “swiftboating” in 2004!!

  44. Unregistered Comment by Marvin UNITED STATES

    My family arrived in American courtesy of King George III, from what is now Germany. They were Hussein soldiers.

    more recently, my dad’s two brothers served in the Navy during the late 50’s early 60’s - Both played honorably in the Navy Band.

    My mom’s brother served in Germany during the 60’s. Took an East German bullet in his foot as he patrolled the Berlin Wall.

    Me - NROTC - 3 yrs on USS Haleakala AE-25, 1 yr on USS O’Callahan FF-1051; and 3 yrs on USS Pluck MSO-464 (with 4 month rotation to USS Enhance operating out of Bahrain) No combat time.
    Received my discharge orders on 8/2/90 - they were handed to me as the news of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait hit the TV. I was discharged the following January, during Desert Storm.

  45. Odahi Comment by Odahi UNITED STATES

    AS for my own service, a little less than 10 years, regular Army. Helicopter and airplane avionics. Gulf War I, Bosnia, and a UN tour in Macedonia. Nothing heroic, but service just the same. My father had polio as a child, no service for him. His brother, my uncle, served in the Air Force and did some time in Japan after the war, not sure in what capacity. Maternal grandfather was Army Air Corps in WWII, I never knew him and have no idea of his service. I thank all those who have served, and all who still serve.

  46. LC Ranger 6 Comment by LC Ranger 6 UNITED STATES

    My grandfather was an oil field roughneck in WWII so was more valuable here at home. My dad was in aerial survey during Vietnam so he spent his 4 years in Crystal Mountain examining top secret photos taken over Vietnam and surrounding regions.

    I went in the Army Infantry in 86 as an 11B light infantry, was in Germany in the 1st ID when the wall came down and became an 11M mechanized infantry with the M2 Bradley’s. A fun enough toy, but the damn thing was too tall and you had to guess at the range for the 25mm main gun unless your TC came up with a hand held laser range finder and stayed out his hatch to yell ranges down to you. We didn’t do much of that in real live situations needless to say. My battalion was the first to “draw down” in the European theater during the Clinton disaster years. We actually wrote a “how to” book for the rest of the theater.

    Got a sandy vacation and participated in the CALFEX known as Desert Storm and ended with a tour at Ft. Carson, CO in the 4th ID. My daughter was born there in the base hospital so I guess that makes here technically an Army Brat.

    I got out in 1994 and moved to The Great Northwest Moonbat Breeding Grounds™ where the military is hated and I tend to piss off everyone I bump into outside of my own house.

  47. sig94 Comment by sig94 UNITED STATES

    My grandpa (my mom’s dad) was born in 1892 and served on a sub chaser during WWI. I have some of his ribbons. After the war he was a conductor for the Long Island Rail Road for forty years. A first generation Irish-American, his father was a shepard. My grandpa died of cancer on St.Patricks Day, 1957, when I was eight.

    My dad dropped out of high school to join the Navy. He was a hard hat diver who served in both the Pacific and the Atlantic Theaters. In the Pacific he did Navy salvage. He was torpedoed twice. In the Atlantic he did battle damage assessment in wrecked French harbors after D-Day. The only stories he ever told me: The first time he stepped foot in Hawaii he saw what he thought was a sand dune moving. As he got off the ship and got closer he saw that it was the fattest woman he ever saw dressed in a muumuu and doing the hula. He was never impressed with Hawiian women. Then there was something about drilling holes in cocnuts, sticking raisins in them and burying them. When he got back to Pearl, they’d find some bubbleheads and get some torpedo juice (alcohol) and he was good to go. Another story was about how he would be inside a sunken navy vessel in the dark with his flashlight. The drowned sailors would move in his wake as he walked through the decks as if they were following him. After the war he worked as for ten years as a draftsman for Republic Aviation which built the P-47 Thunderbolt, the F-84 Thunderjet and the F-105 Thunderchief. He then went to Grummans Aerospace Corp. The last plane he worked on before Grummans hit the skids (thank you Richard Buttface Nixon for moving the aerospace industry out to California) was the F-14 Tomcat. My dad died in 1990.

    Ironically, my brother-in-law also worked for Grummans, where he met and married my sister. He left Grummans and worked as a civilian engineer for the Navy and was also a USNR Lt. Cmdr. He was the head civilian administrator for the final avionics overhaul of the F-14 down in Patuxent NAS. As with my dad, the F-14 was also the last bird he worked on. That’s why you see it as my avatar.

    My father-in-law dropped out of school because of the Depression. He tried to join the Navy but was refused because he was too small. He was snagged by the Army and ended up in France as a turrent gunner on a Sherman tank just in time to invade Germany with Patton’s 3rd Army. When he showed up at his unit, all 5′0″, 118 pounds of him, the vets loooked at him and said, “Jesus, we’re getting the kids now, the broads are next.” His stories: he was straffed by a German jet, a ME-262 that blew the ever loving crap out of an armored half track. He dove in a river to save his ass. They were constantly scrounging for food and the tankers would pick him up and throw him over walls to get to the German chicken coops. He hated the Hitler Youth. They had to kill the buggers, they wouldn’t surrender. He liberated a concentration camp (he won’t speak about that). The war was over for three days before his unit finally got word. He was in Czechoslavkia at the time staring at the Russian Army. The month of April 1944 was the heaviest fighting he saw. He spent his nineteenth birthday in heavy combat. Sherman tanks were shit. The Panzers had unbelieveable guns (88mm) but we had oceans of Shermans. After the war, he was stationed in France until they decided what to do with him. So he started a craps table in his tent. He sent lots of money home and his mother saved it and used it as a down payment for their first house. He then spent a year in England guarding a Wehrmacht prison camp. After that, he was a cement mason for thirty years. He is now 80 and frail but the little guy still can bark.

    My younger brother was also in the Navy (the judge gave him an option). He dropped out of nuclear power school in 1969 when the AEC no longer granted licenses to navy nuke techs. He was a snipe on a cruiser (USS Northampton CC-1) and then on a DDE (USS Sims) but was also qualified as a scuba diver. Off the coast of Vietnam he did TDY recovering pilots who were shot down near the Gulf. Because of his scuba expertise, there was another TDY that is still cloudy, but somehow he ended up in Cambodia for a short time. He is not at all happy about what he did there. He is disabled now and receives a small pension from the Navy.

  48. CiSSnarl5.7 Comment by CiSSnarl5.7 KUWAIT

    I wrote of him before but My Uncle Billy was in WWII during the liberation of France, wounded in combat and had a purple heart and various other medals.
    Never really said a lot about those times to be honest..other then that funny part part about being too tired to duck resulting in the purple heart.

    A cousion much older then me due to the number of boys on my fathers side (5 in all), was in ‘Nam I’m not sure when or where, he refused to discuss it and we lost touch with him after we moved from the neighborhood he lived in, but I can remember Rich always wearing his Black Stocking Watch cap…no matter the season that cap was on his head…and his behmoth of a Station wagon, his wife would pick us all up for school some mornings and we’d all pile in and it was a fight to get to sit in the rear most section and play with Rich’s (hopefully disabled) .45 Service Pistol from his time in ‘nam..not knowing the horrors that weapon must of seen at the time it to us was simply a seriously cool thing to do! Course now a days seeing a bunch of young kids waving around a .45 pistol would send the nanny statists into convulsions…but we had great times shooting the “gooks” and “dinks”…LOL
    This would of been early 72 or 73 I was in 1st grade.
    Looking back it was probably careless of him to leave that weapon where 6 year olds could get a hold of it, but I’m thinking he must of disabled it.

    Rich had been back long enough to start a family and had a daughter just a year younger then myself, so I’m guessing he must of been in Nam somewhere in the mid 60’s. I realized after my Bootcamp days that …the black stocking cap he always wore was Navy issue…So it’s possible he was a “river rat”, but I don’t really know. I never really had the chance to talk to him about it.

    Myself? Left for boot-camp in June of 85 11 days after I graduated, not really knowing what I was going to do with myself after school the prospect of getting the hell out of Youngstown Ohio was vastly more appealing then working in some dead end job…
    College was a non starter,
    7 months later a scared and clueless Seaman on board U.S.S America CV-66 saw his first combat action against Libya in 86…and was hooked…I never looked back and knew that this is where I belonged.

    Fast forward thru a few more deployments one to the persian gulf during Gulf War 1, and I ended up cutting circles off the coast of Yugoslovia doing ship interdictions of coastal shipping OP area “Digger” …still not sure exactly what we were doing up there no one was really clear about what side was what and what we were really trying to accomplish other than keeping weapons from the warring factions …Clinton’s debacle and quagmire …which BTW is still a complete cluster fuck…Ahem…

    Closest I ever came to face to face / hand to hand combat was on an interdiction…in a damp dark hold searching for contraband on a costal freighter, the crew were all supposed to be top side and accounted for as we searched, which turned out not to be the case…as we searched the hold suddenly a sleepy eyed crew member stepped from behind some stacked palletts and was greeted by 4 Very surprised U.S. Navy petty officers. I was the shotgunner…and I’ll never forget the sound of that 12 gauge round being chambered.. the instant the site picture came into focus on his center mass and the feel of a Mossberg trigger at the very spot before it breaks to fire…and my partner screaming “FRRRREEEEEEZE DONT FUCKING MOVE DOWN DOWN DOWN”….looking back at it, it was another idiotic rule we operated under..by time I re-acted, racked that round, and aquired…if mr. “hide and seek” as we dubbed him had a weapon …I would of been toast, we all would of…but we were expessley forbidden to carry a live round in the chambers of our weapons. I was the only one that had even got a weapon to bear..the rest never cleared thier holsters…after that incident our senior Master at arms said “I dont give a fuck ..you guys go down into one of those holds…chamber a round..just remember to CLEAR your CHAMBER before you come top side and for GOD SAKES DONT SHOOT EACH OTHER…” LOL. I loved that guy !!

    After that I faced a choice; I was due to re-enlist in a few months but this was the height of the Clinton Era, miniscule operating budgets, low wage increases, and as an effect of the “peace dividends” no real chance to move up in the ranks in my NEC (MOS to you land lubbers…LOL) I was discouraged with it all by then… PC had hit the Navy like a freight train and it had become no fun at all so I made …probably a pretty rash choice… at 10 years I pulled the plug.

    No offense to the fairer sex… as I walked down the brow the last time…two female seaman were walking up checking on board and I was damn happy to see the pier for the last time…Neanderthal or not a major combatant with all the wonderfull chances at getting onselves killed and maimed BEFORE the enemy ever has a chance to fire on you ..is just not the place for women.

    Sorry …I know it’s not PC of me …but Men and ships go back a thousand years…theres a reason for that, its fucking dangerous, cramped ,dirty work at the best of times…add in a variety of really dangerous weapons and thier parts and fuel all being handled sometimes under the most adverse conditions and sea states to make Neptune him self throw up… just because Some feminazi says “you can” doesn’t mean you should..I’ve seen more then one male come to a ship and get bounced right the hell back off…its just not work that is cut out for most people.

    I dread the day another U.S.S Stark incident happens and the American public has to deal with not only young mens bodies burned beyond identifying because it was soaked in the same rocket fuel that powers the missle BEFORE it exploded…..but some ones daughter.

  49. LC Stargazer Comment by LC Stargazer

    Not sure of the oldest days, but I do have a multi-great-grandfather who died in a Southern POW camp during the ACW. My parents and grandparents generations didn’t synchronize with the world wars, so they sat them out.

    My father-in-law served on the Burma Road, and one of my father’s older cousins served in the Pacific and moved to New Zealand after the war to marry a girl he’d met there on leave.

    Two uncles on my mother’s side served in the 50’s, post-Korea, one Army in Germany and the other Air Force.

    I was Navy for nine years (four active and five reserve) before I blew my knee out just after Desert Storm; I’ve got two cousins in the Army, one a sergeant and the other a Lieutenant Colonel, Intel. They’ve both been to the sandbox in the current affair and both tell me that the MSM is even more f***ed up than even Emperor Misha believes.

  50. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952 UNITED STATES

    Of myself I have little to say. Spent two years in the navy, machinist’s mate third, honorably discharged. Nothing heroic, just did my job.
    But my dad…..you already know about him. An intelligence officer/navagator on a B-17. Shot down, spent a year in a concentration camp. I need not elaborate, save he said if not for the rats and red cross rations he would have starved. Escaped, was caught, they busted his feet with rifle butts. He escaped again, digging his way out with that little can open that now sits in my living room with his flag, dogtags and wings.
    But my uncle was a navy vet in WW2. Ended up badly shell shocked, required hospitalization. Another uncle fought in New Guinea, a hell hole if ever their was one. Yet another a Marine in Guadalcanal. I still remember what he told me…….I always will.
    My brother in law served in the air force, doing a tour in ‘Nam. One of my best buddies died there. You know about that too. My wife’s father is an army vet, her uncle a Marine, a brother in law a squid. Vets are by far the majority of males in our respective families.
    As my dear Other Half put it to some lefties…
    I am the daughter of a vet, the daughter in law of a vet, the wife of a vet, the sister of a vet, the sister in law of a vet, the niece of several vets. Many of my friends are vets, even more of my husbands friends are vets. All have their stories to tell….
    I can only say, and it still chokes me up……I think of my dad and what he went through. That magnificent spirit within him, and I say to myself…To be called half the man he was would be taken as the greatest of compliments.
    Thank You, crunchie.

  51. LC Guido Cabrone Comment by LC Guido Cabrone UNITED STATES

    My father was a Marine, enlisted in 1939, got in 1946. I don’t remember the few times he walked about being in the Pacific clearly, but I know that he was at Kwajalien, and was wounded there. He once showed me a small wooden box, he told me that he had made it in the hospital at Pearl by hand while recovering from his wound. The doctors told him he had to do all of the work of sawing it out and putting it together with his left arm, since that was the shoulder he had been wounded in. He didn’t talk about his time in the service much, (except for a story about bayoneting dead Japanese soldiers on an island, driving his bayonet into one body’s skull, and then watching the fingers of the “dead body’s” fingers make a fist.) But did like to tell other stories about experiences pre-war. Like the two girls that he and another Marine had gone on a date with, they were in serious danger of being Absent Over Leave, and the girl’s car was about out of gas. And, this being when it was, there were no 24 hour gas stations. So, (as he told it), the girls decided to break a lock off of a gas pump and just “get” some gas. So they did. Unfortunately, what they had pumped in the car was not gasoline, but either diesel or kerosene, and the car did not run well on it, at all, at all, at all…

    Or the time they were in a poolhall in San Diego, preparing to ship out for combat, and one his buddies ran his cue through the felt of a pool table. So they decided to put the ball basket over the rip and forget their two dollar deposit…

    Or the islander he met on an island in the Pacific who had been educated by American missionaries. He asked my dad where he was from, and was told “Peabody, Kansas.” “Where is that?” “Forty miles Northeast of Wichita.” The islander drew an outline of the US on the ground, drew in Kansas, stuck his finger at Wichita, then moved his finger about forty miles NE and said, “Peabody?”.

    My dad always said that that man was the best educated person he ever met. And was living in a grass hut on an island in the Solomons.

    My brother in law was a crew chief on a Navy helicopter, and was on one of the last runs to the embassy in Saigon. He doesn’t like to talk about it much.

    My father had a stroke in 1984, and passed on in 1991, with links from his dog tag chain still embedded in his shoulder.

  52. Unregistered Comment by crzydug UNITED STATES

    Where to begin. I was a peacetime soldier, 12B combat engineer, 77-80. spent time in ft Riely KS. and Nurnburg West Germany. Did year and half in Colorado Army National Guard while in college. Was being trained as field medic when left college. Had the foolish idea I could pay my way with GI Bill and student loans. Did 8 yrs off and on in Army Reserve over the next decade. 64C wheeled vechlicle driver.

    As far family, a long history. My fathers father served in Army in WWll. Don’t know anything about that. his step-father served in the army in the Pacific Theater, had a bad knee from machinegun rounds. never talked about it. Two of my mothers uncles served in WWll. The one I don’t know much about, the other was air force, spent 2 years in a German POW camp. Luckly he could speck German, made life easier for a lot of them with him.

    Two of my mom’s cousins were Army, (brothers). one went to Korea, the other Veit Nam. The one in Nam was injured on a friday the 13th. Bad back ever since, and very superstious about #13.

    My mom’s brother was in Nam as a army surveyer, I belive in 64-65. My father’s brother was a Marine, pre Nam. My mom’s sister’s husband, (uncle) was a 20yr Air force man. My father was Army, 59-60.

    One of my first cousins was a marine, late 70’s, another was army, late 70’s early 80’s.

    one of my nephews was in the air force for a short while.

    Another of my nephews is a combact medic in the US Army. He did a tour in Iraq, and now is in Afganistan. Last I heard, he was 20 klicks from the Iranian border. He is allways in our prayers.

  53. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant UNITED STATES

    Don’t have much in the way of stories, though my stepfather could probably remedy that.  He was a SMSgt in the Air Force.

    Dad was in the Army during WWII, and that’s about all I know about that.

    Tried to enlist in the Navy in ‘91, but they had this peculiar aversion to pancake feet & lasagna guts.  The gut they coulda done something about.  The feet…  (shrug)

  54. Unregistered Comment by humanitarian2112 UNITED STATES

    Me:
    502
    509
    9/82
    need I say: you dirty rotten leg
    Brother:
    2nd ID Korea
    4th ID
    Father:
    7/1 air cav RVN
    AND
    1/7 1st Cav RVN
    Grandfather:
    1/17 inf Korea
    32nd AR/3rd AD WWII Europe
    Great GrandFather:
    5th cav/1st canadian Ypres - KIA
    g,h troop 1 cav
    Great-great Grandfather
    15th Alabama Cav - Northern War of Agression
    probably more, but we’re inbread before this, I guess.

    and I must add that if you ain’t cav you must have gone airborne, ’cause otherwise, you ain’t …

  55. Unregistered Comment by readerjp

    The Army wouldn’t take my father him because he’d had pleurisy, so he enlisted in the Navy in 1944, right after he finished Medical School. He gave up a fellowship in pathology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NY. His parents were immigrants, he was first generation American and he wanted to contribute.

    The government’s conservative estimates for the invasion of Japan were 1.5 million, so the Navy grabbed all the doctors they could. Luckily for the Navy and my father, he NEVER got seasick. One night during rough seas, he was the only one who showed up for dinner. Even the waiters looked green.

    His first post was San Diego Naval Hospital, where he saw the victims of kamikaze pilots. He was on a ship doing convoys in the North Atlantic. In August 1945, before the end of the Pacific War, he sailed for Japan on a “baby flattop” and they met a hurricane on the way so they had to change course. He finally made it to Tokyo Harbor. Then a seaplane took him over Hiroshima, where he saw the tremendous destruction. They continued on to the USS Kingman (aka USS NJ.) He landed in Fukuoka and then by train to Nagasaki. He was the first Navy doctor to land in Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped there. That’s probably why he had health problems, like having his thyroid removed and cataracts at a very early age.

    Unlike other people here, he had no problem with the Japanese. He told me that once they surrendered, they accepted they had lost. He does remember the smell though, they used human manure for agriculture.

    Oh yes, the Japanese “empire” told the people that American soldiers ate with the bones of Japanese soldiers.

    He met a Japanese medical student (pre-war) and the student asked my father, in excellent English, if he wanted a tour, so my dad agreed. He showed my father a Chinese temple and a house used by the Japanese Secret Police for transmissions.

    Somehow my father saw a little boy who had a bad ear infection. Penicillin was extremely rare, only the American military had it, so my father went to the doctor in charge and asked him for it. The Japanese were so grateful to my father that they gave him a kimono and a silk hanging. He didn’t want to take it, because he saw how poor they were, but he knew they’d be insulted if he didn’t. That stuff hung on the wall of our living room for 50+ years.

    What you have to understand that my father is the MOST UN-MILITARY officer that ever was. He probably forgot to salute about a million times. He is also the gentlest man I know. His thing was to help people and to heal them, he could never kill anyone. Yet there is a place for that in wartime also.

    My father (and me too of course!) is Jewish, so he had to listen to A LOT of anti-Semitic crap, but he never had a problem with anyone.

    As the doctor, my father was in charge of all alcohol on the ship (for medicinal purposes only), and the sailors kept trying to get it from him with all kinds of fake complaints. A lot of men wanted free circumcisions, I don’t know why.

    My father was also in charge of inspecting the kitchens. The baker took one look at my father and baked him a few cakes, and the kitchen passed inspection. Regularly.

    My father said that they were given an allotment of beer, a six-pack per month? or maybe week. Anyway, my father didn’t drink, so he was quite popular with the men when he gave his away.

    These were the only kind of stories he would tell us about his Navy service when we were kids. He never spoke about the bad stuff.

    My father has sinced saved many thousands of lives of civilians, and is beloved by the community, honored many times. If I could be even half the person he is, I would be happy.

    My mother’s brother was first chosen to be trained in Russian and sent to the Aleutians (now there’s a forgotten piece of the war), then was sent to the Pacific. He came home for his mother’s funeral, and during that time, his whole unit was wiped out in the Marshall or Solomon Islands. I never knew him.

    I asked my father and mother if they thought at the time that they had sacrificed a great deal for the War (a la Brokaw), and they looked at me like I was crazy. They NEVER patted themselves on the back, it was just what one did.

  56. CiSSnarl5.7 Comment by CiSSnarl5.7

    the F-14 was also the last bird he worked on. That’s why you see it as my avatar.

    You have reason to be proud of your fathers work…

    The F-14 was and always will be my favorite bird of prey…I was NEC 0318 in the USN…Air Intercept Control…so I’m biased but I also worked a lot with Eagle drivers, Hornet jockies, and even some Harrier types.. But I worked mainly with the ‘cat drivers and RIO’s..VF-33 Starfighters and VF-101 Diamondbacks …they were some of the toughest aviators I’ve ever met

    ….my deepest respects and gratitude to your father ..he helped design one of America’s fiercest fighting birds of all time..his legacy is nothing short of astounding….

    A payload to make the devil envious with those nasty P.S.S. loads (short for a mixed bag of Phoniex, sparrows and Sidewinder missles) enough speed and agility for a close in “knife fight” with the 20 mm cannon, and the range to get things done with out screaming for gas every six minutes (F-18 Hornets AKA “LawnDarts”) the Tomcat in simplicity was hands down the best air superioty fighter ever flown, it’s evoloution unlike a lot of defense projects only made it better with each model ending with the “Super Tomcat / Bombcat in the mid 80’s.

    I shed a tear or two the day I got the E-mail from my military buds still out there telling me the ‘cat was being retired, America will never have another fighter so cabable of taking the fight to an enemy ..I don’t give a damn what the techno wizards in D.C. claim about the F-22 …(dons his flame retardant suit in preps for the USAF zommies lurking here) :thumbup_tb:

  57. MCaN Comment by MCaN

    While I am one of those younger folk of which you were talking, I heard a few stories growing up as well. My grandfather was stationed in the pentagon during WW2, was a sub spotter (ironically, his eyesight wasn’t good enough for normal duty, always found that amusing). His brother (my great uncle) had one of the best stories I’ve heard. He was a navigator on a bomber, and did runs over Germany. On one of these missions, he decided he needed to get up (needed coffee or something, can’t exactly remember the detatils) but when he returned to his seat, a bit of flak had completely torn through it. Had he been sitting there he would have been killed. One of the sadder stories I heard was when he had orders to bomb his ancestral hometown. Never got any more details than that.

    One of my uncles on the other side of the family was a helocopter pilot in Vietnam, didn’t get to hear any stories of his service, but just to know that much commands a lot of respect from me.

    One of my good friends is over in Iraq right now on his first tour with the Marines. He’s had a couple close calls as a Humvee driver, one of his convoys has gotten hit so far, and he’s still 4-5 months left.

    I am not in the service, however I have the greatest respect for those that are. I’m hoping (still in college) to do some work on either the new subs we’re working on or help design a fighter to live up to the F-14 (the single engined JSF doens’t do it for me, and the F/A-18, as you stated, just doen’t have the legs to do jack).

  58. 3FgBurner Comment by 3FgBurner UNITED STATES

    Dad joined the Navy after WW II (he was 16 pushing 17 on V-J Day).

    I missed Vietnam by a couple years. Wound up in the Army, 1976-1980. Spent the whole 4 years at Sill, as one of Dhimmi Cahtuh’s Lost Boys. And people ask me why I have such a virulent hatred for Carter…

    Only time I ever spent in combat zones was when I was a kid. The old man went CIA after the Navy. Being a spook brat, I got to go through the Suez Crisis (age 1 month, for my first bombing raid). I was also in Brazzaville when the former-French Congo went Commie. Whenever I hear that Beatles song that goes, “You say you want a revolution…”, I respond with “@#$%, NO! Revolutions suck!”.

    I take it back - I did get shot at once, at Sill. I was in the Battalion Fire Direction Center, and our Charlie battery was firing over our heads. A defective time fuze triggered a round right above us. I rolled under the ramp of the track. My chief was a ‘Nam vet. From the other end of the tent, he beat me to the spot under the ramp.

    And, for all of you Airborne and Cav types:

  59. LCkschlenker Comment by LCkschlenker

    When I was a teeny bopper, I was a AFROTC Scholarship Cadet and in the Reserves. I got out after getting preggers with my oldest. Of my three girls, one is already in the Army (learning about Patriot missles at Ft.Bliss) and one has just taken her PFT to get into the Marines as an officer (since she is graduating from college this week).
    Two of my sisters were in the military; Kay in the Army, Teresa in the Air Force. Both of my sister Deanna’s boys are in the military, Ben in the Army (he has been to Kosovo and Iraq) and Hank in the Navy (he spent some time in the Gulf).
    If I go back to my Dad’s generation, he had two full brothers that served in Viet Nam and a sister (she was a nurse). He also had a step brother who served there too.
    I could go on, but I always get mixed up about my dad’s siblings; he was one of 12, and had at least 5 step siblings…and at least half served somewhere…

  60. LCBrendan Comment by LCBrendan AUSTRALIA

    My great grandfather Austin served in the NZ Expeditionary Force at Passchaendale, my Grandfather in the Naval Reserves in NZ.

    My great grandmother was reading stories of that battle in WWI and remarked to my grandmother..’Thank God he is not in this battle”…she did not know that he was.

    He came home, another casualty of shell shock…and was never the same again.

    I was turned down for military service owing to eyesight issues(and I was a pain in the ass to the recruiters, insisting that I could go through basic and work in a non combat area where my brains were still an asset).

    I don’t really have any war stories to tell….like many WWI veterans, my great grandfather refused to talk about his experiences.

  61. LC Tremor Comment by LC Tremor UNITED STATES

    My Paternal Grandfather:

    Graduated from high school in 1942 and went immediately into the Navy. Served aboard the USS Dixie as a pharmacist’s mate until discharge in 1946. He’s got too many stories about on board high jinks to even begin talking about here…

    My Maternal Grandfather (May he RIP):

    Graduated from high school in 1945 and went into the Navy, but was discharged without action when the war ended. In 1950, he joined the Army to go fight the NorKorComms as a sharpshooter for the 45th Infantry Division. After the war, he joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard as a full time Comptroller, and helped coach the all Guard Shooting Team for 20 years.

    My Father:

    23 years in the Air National Guard as a Maintenance Monkey.

    Myself: 6.5 years active duty Air Force. 2 remote tours in Korea. Deployed to Diyabakur, Turkey and later Incirlik, Turkey to help coordinate the northern air effort in OIF. Currently in the Oklahoma Air National Guard on active duty home station orders providing C2 reachback for forces deployed in support of Operation Jump Start (the military contribution to the “effort” to fix the boarder).

  62. Xystus Comment by Xystus

    LC Marvin’s reference to Hessians reminded me that I have to start with two Sutherlands, father & son, from Wick in Caithness, who joined the Black Watch in the 1770s or thenabouts & also served on the British side in the rebellion of the United Colonies. I think the younger of them married the daughter of a MacLeod comrade in their venerable regiment, so that clan also figures in my maternal ancestry. These folks were given land in what became New Brunswick.

    In the 19th century one of their descendants, now in the Upper Midwest, married a son of Frank Fuller, who hailed come from upstate New York by way of Chicago. Frank had been a sergeant in an Illinois (artillery?) outfit during the Late Unpleasantness. He’d reportedly gone to school with one of the Lincoln boys & wound up in the Treasury Dept. Seems he had stories of horses shot under him (though it’s not clear to me how many). I do recall that one of his surviving letters from the Army complains of troops’ foul language–to which my dad remarked that Frank probably was guilty himself.

    One of his grandsons posthumously became my maternal grandfather. The closest he–a schoolteacher type–came to the military was a job in ammo production, which lifted his family out of Depression-era poverty. I know of one son-in-law (d. 2000) who served in WWII’s Merchant Marine. Another, my Uncle Harry, had stories I only began hearing in high school. I think it was a snapshot I’d taken of the Danube at Donauwœrth that called forth his anecdote about crossing that river–at the same town–in 1945. His unit had to cross in watercraft, & while boarding he slipped & fell into the drink while weighted with 50 lbs. of ammo. His helmet came off & someone pulled him up by the hair. (In a possible weird coincidence, something similar had apparently happened to his wife in childhood.) I asked him if he’d been to Munich, & he replied, “It was my outfit that liberated Munich!” If I remember his displayed memorabilia right, that was the Rainbow Division.

    Sadly Harry’s been gone many years–but [shameless plug alert] his nubile blonde granddaughter Kirsten :smile_wp: now appears in the sitcom “Ten Items or Less” on TBS :smile2_ee:. (No, I do not endorse Ted Turnoff. nono_tb:)

    On my father’s side the first vet who comes to mind is a Dutch immigrant named Willy Haverkamp who some of y’all would say was on the wrong side in the 1860s. His story was that he used to claim: “I was where the shot and shell were thickest.” Where was that, you ask? “Under the ammunition wagon.” In fact he was unlucky enough to get run over by a wagon, breaking both his legs. Afterwards he lived on a pension.

    A generation or two later it was my grandfather’s turn. If he were still alive, he’d have this guy beaten by two years. Drafted in 1917, he may not have seen combat because of his musical talent, which got him promoted to Assistant Band Leader. Could be why he had to stay in Germany for a year or so after the Great War, too. His closest brush with death involved being laid up in a barn in Luxembourg with an unidentified illness which caused caretakers to believe he was going to die. Obviously we might wonder whether this was the pandemic influenza. Whatever it was, it ostensibly damaged his heart. Still, he lived to 85.

    On the day DamnDolf offed himself, my dad turned 13. During the Korean War he left a potential management career in Casper behind when he heard his draft number had come up. (FWIW his dad was on the local draft board.) Back in Minnesota he found out otherwise but chose to volunteer for presumed better placement with the Army. I’d sum up his two years or so by noting that he went to radio school on Long Island & was assigned to an AAA unit at Ft. Myers. Don’t remember the designation, but they displayed a wildcat & the motto “Semper vigilans.” He was discharged as staff sgt. & admitted he was happy to get out. (He’d met my mother before his service & married her afterwards.)

    At about that time one of his sisters took some position that took her overseas. In occupied Germany she met & married a young Army officer who in the 60s went to Viet Nam. He retired as colonel decades ago & after his decease this year was interred at Arlington. Two of his sons (one of whom attended VMI) became officers in the USMC & saw action in the first Gulf War, one as a fire-control guy in a Cobra. Now they make their living as civilians.

    As they say in the Empire, Thatisall.

  63. Unregistered Comment by Boryon UNITED KINGDOM

    Alas, my forbears were not exactly military. My maternal grandfather was a watchman during WW2 (night job) and an engineer during the day. The nearest he got to the fighting was working on the landing craft we Brits used in Normandy.

    That said, the grandfather of one of the local bouncers was one of the survivors of Arnhem…

    Boryon

  64. Unregistered Comment by Draven32 UNITED STATES

    Great-grandfather served in WW1. No further details available.
    Grandfather served in Korea.
    Father served during Vietnam, no time in country, discharged with a medical.
    I served in ‘89-90. Messed up my legs, got a medical discharge.

  65. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie UNITED STATES

    Thank you Sire for doing this. These are amazing stories. A lot of first person history here. Thank’s again sire.