Monday is an important day for all Americans as this is the day we honor and remember all those who have fought for our freedom and way of life. These are the people that march toward the danger, not that ran from it. These are the people who understood sacrifice and the collective good over their personal good. We have lost millions of these folks on the battlefield. We have lost many more after they returned, to time or injuries. We are losing our WW2 vets, Korean War vets and Vietnam vets at an alarming rate. Many of their stories and experiences will be lost. That is a huge loss, for those that have not been on a battlefield cannot understand what happens there. No movie can bring this home, even the news sanitizes these events. No one can understand a bombing run where you have to fend off fighter pilots, flack and other dangers to accomplish your mission, unless you were there. Yet these stories are part of history. Talk to and thank a vet this weekend. Find out their story, and what we can learn from their experience.
My Dad was a WW2 vet – flying in a B17 over Germany. 25 missions, one Purple Heart – I have seen it but he never discussed the injury – only his hip, flak, on a mission. We lost 1/3 of the B17s (4000+). He lost is childhood best friend, a fighter pilot, and a number of his fellow squadron members. He was on 2 B17’s. The one he flew most on was Piloted by Cpt. Turner. His son (Rex Turner) contacted me a few years back before my Dad passed away. Rex gave me some info about his Dad and their flights. Pop said that Turner was the best pilot he flew with. 20+ years ago he and I toured a flying B17 (Collings Foundation – go if you never have). He told me a lot about the plane an missions – reliving the moments. Here is me (2016) and him (1944). But no one was shooting at me. Thank you Vets!!