Author Topic: World War II veteran: No time to fear  (Read 712 times)

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Offline happyg

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World War II veteran: No time to fear
« on: May 18, 2013, 11:54:41 AM »
An elderly man came to my garage sale this morning, and gave each of us hard tack candy, a staple during WWII. He had a veteran's hat on, and my granddaughter asked him about his service. He told her all about the Battle of the Bulge, and was happy to have eager listeners. I mentioned this to a friend, who posted the following link. Since it is Armed Forces Day, I thought you would find him interesting. He is 91 years old.

His name is Robert (Bob) Wheeler




http://www.limaohio.com/news/local_news/article_3ba11e06-3ccf-11e2-b645-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=image&photo=1

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: World War II veteran: No time to fear
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 12:46:58 PM »
Wheeler appears to be wearing insignia for Technician Fifth Grade. Like Corporal, two stripes up, with T below that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_World_War_II_Enlisted_Ranks
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Offline happyg

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Re: World War II veteran: No time to fear
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 12:56:03 PM »
He's a very friendly man, and sure likes to talk. He and his wife stayed for some time, just chatting. Here he is this morning with my granddaughter.


Offline truth_seeker

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Re: World War II veteran: No time to fear
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 02:05:10 PM »
My Dad was WWII a combat vet. USMC. He was wounded on Okinawa after 45 days of battle.

Then when he had recovered, the war was over. He was out of the military before his 20th birthday.

He did not tell his children war stories. He died young, at age 69.

Something I missed, was being able to hear him finally tell about his WWII days. I know he told my mother a lot. They were dating while he was in the service, and before he died they went to Hawaii to see where he was stationed during his recovery.

I know during the months before he died, he realized he would not grow old, like this vet. My father loved and respected his own father, who lived to age 86. The old Swedish cowboy from Wyoming. 
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline happyg

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Re: World War II veteran: No time to fear
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 02:38:38 PM »
Sad story, truth. My dad never said much, either. Most of what we learned was when he was dying and reflecting on his past. It was then we learned he was in the Army Air Corps, that I never heard of. I just thought he was in the Army. He mostly guarded Japanese concentration camps in the Philippines. He enjoyed the Japanese prisons who would laugh at his jokes and ask for cigarettes. He saw the other side of these soldiers, and never allowed us to use the words, Jap or Kraut.

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: World War II veteran: No time to fear
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 03:39:47 PM »
Sad story, truth. My dad never said much, either. Most of what we learned was when he was dying and reflecting on his past. It was then we learned he was in the Army Air Corps, that I never heard of. I just thought he was in the Army. He mostly guarded Japanese concentration camps in the Philippines. He enjoyed the Japanese prisons who would laugh at his jokes and ask for cigarettes. He saw the other side of these soldiers, and never allowed us to use the words, Jap or Kraut.
Serving in the Pacific, on Okinawa, my Dad held onto a strong resentment of Japanese. More lives were lost in that battle, than any other.

Many of those dead were from Kamikaze attacks, close to but less cowardly than muslim suicide bombers, since they were directed at military actors.

With the Okinawa victory, the war outcome was certain, but not the timing or method.

Growing up with parents formed by the Depression and WWII, is serious business compared to experience these days.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Online mountaineer

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Re: World War II veteran: No time to fear
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 03:49:31 PM »
My late father was a Navy Lt.(jg) who helped repatriate Japanese prisoners after the war. I saw some of his photos from Japan, but was too stupid to ask him to talk about everything he saw there.
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