Your Hero(s) - Memorial Day Tribute

t-noah

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Feb 2, 2007
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Who is your Hero? I thought it would be nice to remember or honor those of us who have served, sacrificed, and for some - paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

I would say one of my Heroes is my Uncle. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, flying B-17 command bomber pilot missions over France and Germany in mid to late 1944. He was probably only 18 when trained to fly, and forced to fly missions at only age 20-21, due to the high wartime training and mission casualty rate.

Statistically, after about 10 Bomber missions back then, you were likely dead. They had a 10-15% casualty rate (10-15% of bombers didn't come back per mission). They were asked to fly 10 missions then were supposed to be rotated out/relieved. His crew was re-upped 2 extra times concurrently, and he flew/survived 30 (!!) combat missions. Amazing!

I guess they finally figured that was enough after 30 missions. So afterwards he was rotated to Mustang pilot duty, escorting more bomber raids over Europe and Germany through the end of the war in 1945.

Notably, he piloted Eisenhower back to the States after the war. His Bomber Flight jacket is in the WWII museum in New Orleans.

Edit: I understand Memorial Day should be to honor our fallen, but I think remembering our "living" men and women servicemen is probably OK. Let me know if you don't agree. Memorial Day just seems a good time for "stories" that should be shared.
 
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StClone

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Dec 17, 2009
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My dad is my hero. He fought in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
My Father also. He left us way to early. He was a tank commander under Patton and G-2. He avoided Omaha beach by luck and came in later on the "safer" Utah Beach. Dad rarely mentioned his experiences of combat until contemplating life with terminal cancer. I never saw him cry once in his life ever.

On Memorial Day he was the leader of organizing, leading parades, and giving the salutes honoring Veteran Grave sites in my hometown in the 21 Gun Salute and Taps. He was beloved, admired, pillar of the church, town, and beyond. He was a man's man from of rural up-bring tossed on a ship traveling halfway around the World to fight. He came home and raised a big family and lived unceremoniously and simply, but was far from it.

And there's Jack-Trice is a different kind of hero. A hero none-the-less in a way that does evoke deep admiration.
 
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StClone

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It’s unfathomable the utter and complete hell so many men and women have experienced. They should be honored with complete respect and reverence.
There are few wars which are really worth fighting. WWII was one of them. Men and women sent to fight are so special. However, they also come to be seen as hammers when they are in fact just people who are called to do a very tough job. Separating those great people sent to fight from the act of war itself is an important insight.
 

Cyforce

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My grandfather lost 3/4 of his stomach to an explosion in WWII. He'd eat at least five times everyday. Each grandchild would visit him for a week during the summer. We'd go fishing a couple days, Adventureland once and Dairy Queen every evening because supper was always insanely early. He and my parents will always be my biggest heros. My father tried to volunteer for Vietnam but they wouldn't take him. Born with a vertebrae missing in him lower back. I tried to sign up spring of 2000. Told me I'd have to lie about 3 separate issues during the medical questionnaire if I wanted to be accepted.
 

swiacy

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When I was a wet behind the ears sophomore on the football team, a Senior was a stud. Linebacker build who holds the school record for 100 yard dash. Brilliant academically, father was president of the school board. Received appointment to West Point & upon graduation was sent to Vietnam to pilot helicopter. Was shot down 6 months later under heavy fire on rescue mission. Last seen by fellow pilots trying to fend off Vietcong swarming downed copter. My draft number was 254 so by chance, I did not have to go. What a tragic loss and I think of him often.
 

t-noah

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My grandfather lost 3/4 of his stomach to an explosion in WWII. He'd eat at least five times everyday. Each grandchild would visit him for a week during the summer. We'd go fishing a couple days, Adventureland once and Dairy Queen every evening because supper was always insanely early. He and my parents will always be my biggest heros. My father tried to volunteer for Vietnam but they wouldn't take him. Born with a vertebrae missing in him lower back. I tried to sign up spring of 2000. Told me I'd have to lie about 3 separate issues during the medical questionnaire if I wanted to be accepted.
Well I guess recruiters telling you to fudge or lie about your medical history is nothing new. My son just last week had to disclose a collasped lung history, lest he be at risk for a felony, dishonorable discharge and denial of medical (he read up on it), even though his recruiter told him to not mention it. He wanted to join the National Guard. Don't worry about it, the recruiter said. Now they won't take the time to help him with a waiver.
 

Neptune78

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I'm thinking of our neighbor boy who we watched grow up since he was four. He was a perfect little boy. Grew up in a middle class family and joined the guard to pay for his college education. He graduated, married, and both came back home to teach high school.
Jason was called up and was sent to Iraq. Never came home. We watched him get blown up on CNN when he was responding to another Humvee who ran into a roadside bomb.
He wasn't a huge military guy, just doing his duty as part of the guard.
Rest in peace, Jason.
 

t-noah

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I think my wife and I will watch "Hacksaw Ridge" tonight. Just seems like such a selfless story. Amazing really.
 
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1UNI2ISU

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My uncle.

Purple Heart and Silver Star during 3 tours in Vietnam though he threw his medals into the Mississippi when he got home.

Died of cancer caused by Agent Orange way too young in 1999.
 
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August

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My uncle. One of the earliest to go to Vietnam in early 60's, as a helicopter pilot trainer for air rescue. He had to fly the first rescue mission of the day every three days. Shot down on his second flight. Was rescued by another helicopter crew before being overrun. He would send us recorded audio tapes that we would listen to and then record over with our reply, and send them back to him. (Wished we would have saved the tapes!) Getting a tape from him was very big deal and the entire family would spend Sunday afternoon listening and recording the reply. Thanks for the thread, brings back good memories.
 

farminclone

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Friend of mine that I grew up with died in Afghanistan in 2011 at 21 years old. Thankful for his service and honored to call him a friend.
 
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Leidang

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My uncle was at Guadalcanal and the first wave at Tarawa. Survived that but then while on leave in 1943 he got a job driving a truck to get back to the midwest. Brakes went out in the mountains and he died going off a cliff.
 

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