This is Memorial Day 2009. I am thankful and grateful to all those who ever served out country to keep us free. Here are some of my friends and family who did their part.
I was never in the Armed Services. My friend Ron, pictured here in the early days of his three years of Army duty, wanted me to join when he did, but my parents would not sign. (In those days you had to be 21 or you had to have parental permission. I was only 18.)
Ron had a medical problem when he first tried to join, but he had it fixed and a year later he went in and served honorably. Although he had joined "to see the world" all his assignments were state side.
I was called up in the mid-sixties, a couple years after Ron mustered out. It was at the height of Vietnam, but I was classified as 1-Y because of my psoriasis and was never called to serve.
Not long after I was rejected for induction, my friend Joe was drafted along with his twin brother. His brother, John, served his time in Kansas, but Joe was sent to Vietnam, where he performed with valor.
Joe exposed himself to enemy fire to allow the rescue of his platoon and was wounded in the process. He won the Bronze Star with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, Battalion Presidential Citation, Five Air Metals, Vietnam National metals and the Purple Heart.
My dad, William, served with the Navy throughout World War II.
He served upon a destroyer escort in the South Pacific, where he caught malaria.
A destroyer escort's duty was to scout out submarines.
At one point, while tided up to an ammunition ship, his ship came under a kamikaze attack.
My dad's youngest brother, Uncle Francy, served with the Army in the campaigns in Italy during WWII.
Dad's other brother, my Uncle Ben, was in the Air Corps during WWII. he had quite a record:
The Distinguished Flying Cross has been awarded to S/Sgt. Benjamin F. , of Modena, for "extraordinary achievement in aerial combat." The announcement was made by Major General James P. Hodges, Commanding General of the Liberator Bombardment Division at an Eighth Air Force station in England. He is a gunner on a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber and has already participated in 30 bombing missions over Germany and enemy occupied Europe. The sergeant is the son of Mrs. Florence B. , of Modena. In civilian life he was employed as a paper machine operator. He entered the army August 1, 1942 and later received his combat training at Wendover Field, Utah. Sgt. Ben has been overseas since March 11, 1944. Besides the DFC, he also holds the Air Metal with three Oak Leaf Clusters to his credit. Coatesville Record. 8/10/1944.
Twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the highest aviation honor given American airmen, the Air Metal, next highest honor, with five Oak Leaf Clusters, signifying recognition of six separate occasions, the Bronze Star, awarded for heroic achievement over western Europe, the ETO campaign ribbon and the Good Conduct Metal, S/Sgt. Benjamin F. , son of Mrs. Florence , of Modena, has been honorably discharged from the U. S. Army. A tail gunner on a B-24, Sgt. Ben has flown 35 combat missions with a total of 240 combat hours in the ETO. A modest hero, reluctant to talk of his service in the ETO, Sgt. Ben, who didn't think people would be interested in his discharge, carefully explained that he didn't do anything special for his awards, adding "they just gave them to me." A graduate of Coatesville High in the class of 1940, Sgt. Ben was employed by the Beach and Arthur Paper Company, Modena, before his induction. Coatesville Record. 10/24/1945
My two daughters both joined the Services. laurel served briefly with the Air Force in a MedVac Unit, but was discharged for medical reasons.
Noelle served just over eight years in the Army Reserves and had two deployments during the war on Terror.
In 2003, right after the first bomb dropped, she landed with her unit in Iraq and served there for a year.
The photo was taken in Iraq during that time.
In 2005, she volunteered for a special deployment to the Horn of Africa with the Joint Task Force Against Terrorism under Marine command.
Noelle was award several metals during her service, including two Army Commendation Metals and a Joint Task Force Achievement metal.
below are the two Army Commendation Metal certificates and the Joint Task Force Achievement metal Certificate she was awarded.