Interview the vets in your family!

How about honoring a veteran by interviewing them and writing the story of their life? My Great Uncle Wayne was in WWII and his ship was torpedoed and sank in the Pacific. I always knew that was part of our family history, but how I wish I had talked to him more about his experience. Many of his buddies were killed or drowned. He’s gone now, too late for me to hear his whole story. Appreciate the amazing sacrifices that were made for our freedom by talking to the veterans in your family.

I’ve mentioned George and his Blue Yonder book. I also interviewed a delightful man named Elmer who was a paratrooper in WWII. He started his intense training for that elite group in March of 1945. They tossed big paratrooper-3

logs back and forth for an hour at a time, and jumped out of planes in full gear. By that time the war in Europe was over. They completed combat training so they could be dropped into Japanese villages for battle. Elmer grinned when he remembered the saying, “We’re supposed to be surrounded, we’re paratroopers!” He was based in the Philippines getting ready to leave for Japan for the invasion when the United States dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in mid-August 1945 and Japan surrendered. Elmer said he felt a fleeting disappointment that he would not get a chance to utilize his training, but was as elated as the rest of the country that the United States had achieved victory.

ElmerBookElmer enjoyed telling his story and received his book as his familycelebrated his 90th birthday. Copies were passed all around and Elmer basked in the knowledge that his life stories would not be forgotten. (His last name has been edited from the book cover to preserve his privacy) What better way to honor a veteran? Don’t wait too long to interview the vets in your family.

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