WORLD WAR II HEROS
Peter: Company E, 2nd Battalion, 26th Regiment, 1st Infantry ~ Ethelyn
Some Heros get famous...most don't. Took me awhile
to understand just exactly what my Dad went through,
his endurance of both body and spirit...and
the fortitude Mom had back home, during World War II. One
day, it became clear to me: I have two HEROS for Parents!
I needed the outside help of PBS TV and books, depicting
and honoring the hardships our troops and homeland
endured...giving them the face my Dad couldn't talk about.
He told me a little about how he and other Soldiers would
give their chocolate to starving, homeless kids who rooted
around in the garbage to salvage banana skins and other
life-sustaining treasures. He told me a little about what it
was like to live in a foxhole with bullets flying over his head,
being wet and cold and watching his toes turn to frost. I
learned that he guarded the prisoners because one of them
sketched a beautiful likeness of me in pencil and signed it.
I wish I could thank that man. It was the first inkling I had
as that young child...that people are people; that German
artist, forced to take up arms instead of a paintbrush
showed his compassion in that wonderful sketch. It tells
me something about my Dad, too...that the good heart I
see him reach out with to his Grandkids and 12
Great-Grandkids (one in the Navy has returned to us in 2009~
we are so joyful...and one in ROTC who became his Archival Partner)
could even span the barbed wire of opposition~~he is a Humane being
and that German prisoner of war was able to see that.
I'm not sure if it was the same man who carved this:
I remember the tokens we had to have to buy sugar,
butter, coffee, meat. Although my Mom became the keeper
of the store, and all food we could want was right there, my
young mind had to learn that we were all in this together;
Mom had to monitor, dole out food, and use only her share.
I'm proud that my Parents had/have that integrity and
passed it on to me and my Brother. I'm still in awe at
how Mom stepped into Dad's shoes to carry on at home;
stocking the store my GrandDad and Dad and his brothers
had built, dealing with customers that were neighbors,
bookkeeping, and learning to butcher meat...in and out of
a walk-in icebox, carrying sides of beef....oh, and taking
care of me, too. My Aunt Ronnie, my Godmother, was
her assistant. You hear a lot about the brave women who
worked in the factories, "Rosie," building the war machine.
I haven't seen anything acknowledging the backbone of
the Nation who kept the homefires burning and people
fed and hugged; who ran businesses that was usually
the man's realm: the "Tootie's" and "Ronnies!"
Mom is my HER--O...and Dad is my HE-RO.
I'm happy to "take back my words" nowadays, (2009) when
many honors are now given to the women who also held this
country together during WWII. Soon's I scan Mom and
Aunt Ronnie, I'm going to put their gorgeous selves here:
My Heart is so filled with regard, compassion and
amazement at what they endured and survived...I weep
with anguish that it was necessary and still goes on.
This is one way to repay those Her--os and He-ros. To
speak. Because others spoke, I began to resolve the loss,
terror and anger this Child experienced. Warmongers took
my Dad away. It's possible my tender mind thought he
abandoned me. That's my belief. I had to begin to get the
whole picture before that could surface, and I could deal with
the whole thing. They took my Dad from me. I'm so grateful
he could return, only as scarred as he was. Psychologically,
the depth of the wounds doesn't show. He had some difficult
times when he returned, and that spilled over on Mom and
I and took its toll on Dad.
I must have been so confused when he left us again after
this "Leave" and how devastating for any woman to have to
kiss her husband goodbye, knowing
she may never see him again.
I believe this was when English assistance first came
These days we have much more assistance in place for
returning soldiers, yet the ravages of war make some of
them so shaken that recovery is almost impossible, and
some continue to wage war on their families and neighbors
after returning home. Let's all cultivate peace within our
own minds and hearts. One by one we can become a
When we pray, we ask. That's a good thing.
Asking defines that we have paid enough attention to
see the need to ask for help...we have evaluated and
seen what to ask for. When we meditate, we receive a
serenity that gives the sense of peace, and the experience
of being non-judgemental. Let's do both...pray and
meditate, and become the stewards of our own actions.
Meditation...that's when we get to HEAR the Answers
to our Prayers!! Through both, the body relaxes,
and throughout our being we receive healing.
Dad carried this picture folded in his helmet through the war.
BY THE WAY...IT TOOK OUR GOVERNMENT FORTY~~
THAT'S 40, FOLKS, YEARS TO MAIL MY FATHER HIS MEDALS
OF HONOR...AND HE WAS NEVER ACKNOWLEDGED IN
PERSON. AWARDED THE COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE FOR BRAVERY
THE BRONZE STAR IN RECOGNITION OF MERITORIOUS SERVICE AND
MANY OTHER RIBBONS AND MEDALS I DON'T KNOW NAMES FOR.
HOW MANY MEN AND WOMEN NEVER GOT TO SEE
THEIR AWARDS FOR BRAVERY AND SERVICE BECAUSE
THEY DIED WAITING????? WHY SHOULD A SOLDIER NEVER BE
GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO FEEL THE WEIGHT OF THAT MEDAL
ON HIS UNIFORM? BY THE TIME HE RECEIVED IT, IT REMAINED IN
A BOX UNTIL GREAT GRANDBOY FRANK ENCASED THE MEDALS
IN A FRAME.
AND HOW MANY OF YOU WARBABIES OUT THERE, LIKE ME, WEREN'T
SO SURE THAT WAS YOUR REAL DAD YOU WERE BEING INTRODUCED
TO?? "YOU'RE DADDY'S COMING HOME FROM THE ARMY," THEY TOLD
ME. FIVE YEARS OLD...WONDERING..."HOW DO I KNOW HE'S MY DADDY??"
HE RETURNED TO US IN OCTOBER 1945. IN MAY OF 1946 IS WHEN I
REMEMBER...AND BELIEVED IN HAVING A DADDY~~ACCEPTING HIM
AS DADDY. HE BUILT ME A SWING! THE BEST KIND OF SWING!
A ROPE SWING WITH THE KNOTCHED WOOD PLANK SEAT. I WILL
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT SWING, AND THE APPLE TREE THAT
HOUSED IT IN FULL, FRAGRANT, EXQUISITE BLOOM...BLUSHING
BLOSSOMS BOBBING IN JOY WITH ME AS I PUMPED HIGHER AND HIGHER
IN THEIR HEADY FRAGRANCE.
Dad's life had been very different
The advertising world would have us buy and own so much...
I imagine what it was like, and Dad did talk about...walking in
wet shoes, unable to dry out...no matter how cold it got. When
his feet were frostbitten, "Walk" was the medicine given...
and he said "It hurt like hell, but I did it."
Convoy of the Surrendering
Keep them safe
How sad that any nation should have to live like this...for the grandeur of human creation and
capability to be destroyed in the name of Peace...such a dichotomy!
Here are Dad's words on the back of the picture:
AS I BUILD THIS TRIBUTE, MY HEART OPENS EVER WIDER TO DEAL
WITH THIS INCREDIBLE ISSUE THAT ONCE SAPPED SO MUCH OF MY
ENERGY...TO EXPRESS THE LOVE I HAVE AND NEED TO DELIVER.
THANKFULLY, BECAUSE SOME VETERANS BEGAN TO SPEAK AND
DRAW YET FURTHER COURAGE FROM THEIR DEPTHS TO REVEAL
THEIR PAIN AND DISAPPOINTMENTS, TODAY'S VETERANS ARE BETFTER
REMEMBERED AND HONORED AND ASSISTED. AND SO I SHARE DAD'S
STORY SO ANOTHER MIGHT BE HELPED.
BRING THEM ALL HOME...SAFE, AND STRONGER...COMPASSIONATE!
THANK YOU DAD AND MOM FOR BEING THE WONDERFUL,
FORTUITOUS PEOPLE YOU ARE THAT ENDURED HARDSHIP AND
HORROR AND RESOUNDED WITH REVERENCE FOR ALL LIFE.
YOU EARNED THE PRIVILEGE OF YOUR GRAND-GRAND DIMENSIONAL FAMILY,
AND WE~~ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU. PLEASE STAY WITH US
LONG BEYOND YOUR 78 AND SOON-TO-BE 80 YEARS.
Update: Mom turns 85 this year, 2006..Dad approaches 87.
Update May, 2008: Mom is of brilliant mind and gets around admirably at 87
years of age. Dad, soon to be 89, also brilliant of mind, is in hospital,
challenged by problems contracted, I think, largely by his time in Europe fighting
and surviving for this country's and his own, freedom...walking on frostbitten feet,
living in all the elements and under constant stress. Thankfully he is one who
was able to keep reality present for himself for the most part, unlike the many
unfortunate veterans today who take their own lives.
DAD DIED JUST SHORT OF HIS 90TH BIRTHDAY.
REST IN PEACE, DAD. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU.
DAD PASSED AWAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2009
HE HAS EARNED THIS EAGLE FEATHER IN SO MANY WAYS,
ASIDE FROM HIS ARDUOUS TWO YEARS IN WWII.
He was given Military Honors; Taps sounded, The flag
draped over his coffin, then ceremoniously, reverently it
was folded and given with reverence to Mom. His two
Great Grandsons were in full-dress uniform in Dad's honor.
Day is done, Gone the sun, from the lakes, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest. God is nigh.
Fading light, dims the sight, and a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.
Thanks and praise, for our days, neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky...
As we go, this we know...God is nigh...
At this writing, August 6, 2010, I heard a wonderful expression...and I
note that Dad approaches his first "Continuation" Anniversary in just
over a month from now. I do believe that consciousness continues
in the Universe after the body passes. I will go and sing the words to
Taps for Dad at his grave; though he is not there, I know.
THOUGHTS ON DEATH
I ONCE HAD A WONDERFUL FRIEND ON THE INTERNET
NAMED LITTLE TURTLE WHO SENT ME THE FOLLOWING:
"THE FREE CHEROKEE PAPER SENT OUT A QUARTERLY.
THERE IS A MESSAGE IN IT FROM CHIEF LONE WOLF.
IT IS TITLED
"WHAT IS A VET"
SOME VETERANS BEAR VISIBLE SIGNS OF THEIR SERVICE; A MISSING
A JAGGED SCAR, A CERTAIN LOOK IN THEIR EYE. OTHERS MAY
CARRY THE EVIDENCE INSIDE THEM, A PIN HOLDING A BONE
TOGETHER, A PIECE OF SHRAPNEL (LIKE MY DAD) IN THE LEG OR
PERHAPS ANOTHER SORT OF INNER STEEL: THE SOUL'S ALLY FORGED
IN THE REFINEMENT OF ADVERSITY. EXCEPT IN PARADES, HOWEVER,
THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE KEPT AMERICA SAFE WEAR NO
BADGE OR EMBLEM. YOU CAN'T TELL A VET JUST BY LOOKING.
WHAT IS A VET?
HE IS THE COP ON THE BEAT WHO SPENT SIX MONTHS IN SAUDI ARABIA
SWEATING TWO GALLONS A DAY MAKING SURE THE ARMORED
PERSONNEL CARRIERS DIDN'T RUN OUT OF FUEL. HE IS THE BARROOM
LOUDMOUTH, DUMBER THAN WOODEN PLANKS, WHOSE OVERGROWN
FRAT BOY BEHAVIOR IS OUTWEIGHED A HUNDRED TIMES IN THE COSMIC
SCALE BY FOUR HOURS OF EXQUISITE BRAVERY NEAR THE 38TH
PARALLEL. SHE OR HE IS THE NURSE WHO FOUGHT AGAINST FUTILITY
AND WENT TO SLEEP SOBBING EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO SOLID YEARS
IN DA NANG. HE IS A POW WHO WENT AWAY ONE PERSON AND CAME
BACK ANOTHER OR DIDN'T COME BACK AT ALL. HE IS THE QUANTICO
DRILL INSTRUCTOR WHO HAS NEVER SEEN COMBAT BUT HAS SAVED
COUNTLESS LIVES BY TURNING SLOUCHY, NO ACCOUNT REDNECKS
AND GANG MEMBERS INTO MARINES, AND TEACHING THEM TO WATCH
EACH OTHERS' BACKS. HE IS IN THE PARADE: RIDING...A LEGIONNAIRE
WHO PINS THE RIBBONS AND MEDALS WITH PROSTHETIC HAND. HE
IS THE CAREER QUARTERMASTER WHO WATCHES THE RIBBONS AND
MEDALS PASS HIM BY. HE IS THE THREE ANONYMOUS HEROS IN THE
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, WHOSE PRESENCE AT THE ARLINGTON
NATIONAL CEMETARY MUST FOREVER PRESERVE THE MEMORY OF ALL
THE ANONYMOUS HEROS WHOSE VALOR DIES UNRECOGNIZED WITH THEM
IN THE BATTLE FIELDS OR IN THE OCEAN'S SUNLESS DEEP. HE IS
THE OLD GUY BAGGING GROCERIES AT THE SUPERMARKET...PALSIED
NOW AND AGGRAVATINGLY SLOW...WHO HELPED LIBERATE A NAZI
DEATH CAMP AND WISHES ALL DAY LONG THAT HIS WIFE WAS STILL
ALIVE TO HOLD HIM WHEN THE NIGHTMARES COME. HE IS AN
ORDINARY AND YET EXRAORDINARY HUMAN BEING: A PERSON THAT
OFFERED SOME OF HIS LIFE'S MOST VITAL YEARS IN THE SERVICE OF
HIS COUNTRY. AND WHO SACRIFICED HIS AMBITIONS SO OTHERS
WOULDN'T HAVE TO SACRIFICE THEIRS. S/HE IS A SOLDIER AND A
SAVIOR AND A SWORD AGAINST THE DARKNESS, AND HE IS NOTHING
MORE THAN THE FINEST, GREATEST TESTIMONY ON BEHALF OF THE
FINEST, GREATEST NATION EVER KNOWN. SO REMEMBER, EACH TIME
YOU SEE SOMEONE WHO HAS SERVED OUR COUNTRY, JUST LEAN OVER
AND SAY THANKYOU. THAT'S ALL MOST PEOPLE NEED, AND IN MOST
CASES IT WILL MEAN MORE THAN ANY MEDALS THEY COULD HAVE
BEEN AWARDED OR WERE
WALK IN PEACE .....WALK IN PEACE.....WALK IN PEACE
"Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits]
"Brothers in Arms" ~ Orchestral version ~ Mark Knopfler
I met Jack this past summer while camping. He is a West Point man,
World War II Army Veteran and a great Campground Manager. He
made me the complimentary cup o' joe and sausage 'n biscuit and
we talked about my Dad's and his military experiences. I hope to
get back to that camp again and see this kind man and
share some more yarns with him.
THE VETERAN'S SACRIFICE
HOW IS THE WARRIOR'S LOVE AND HONOR TREATED?
When the night has come and the fire is burning with the warmth and
energy saved from the sun it is time to sit with the spirits, to sit with
relatives, to talk, time to learn and time to feel.
Grandfather said, "Little Owl, the reason I have asked you to sit with the
children is to talk of things that bother the spirits." He let that sink into
the boy's mind and then continued, "The spirits feel the people of your time
have forgotten their teachings." Little Owl did not know why Grandfather
had asked him to sit down with him on this night, his friends were
expecting him to come visiting tonight and he had things to do before
the sun came up again, so tomorrow would go smoothly. But Little Owl
knew his grandfather chose the times and places of their long talks
carefully and he knew that time spent with him was always an adventure.
Tonight Little Owl's adventure would stay with him forever. Grandfather
put his hands together and wrinkled his forehead, he cocked his head
a bit to the side and rocked back from his waist just a little. He then
raised his eyebrow, looking sideways at his grandson. It was his habit to
do this when he drew on his memories and he was sizing up the mood
and openness of the boy he was about to speak to. Little Owl knew this
aged man and
he knew this was the signal to watch and listen to him.
Grandfather could see past the hurry and scurry of people around him
but now his words were clipped because he knew his grandson was
becoming a man and the boy needed no easing into difficult subjects.
"The people of your time cannot claim or even feel honor when they
no longer understand the veteran. Very few in your time understand
the warrior's heart. They pursue material gains above all things. Little Owl,
I would like the children to speak of the warriors of the past and the
veterans of your time." Little Owl looked past his grandfather's shoulders
and saw the seven children. His heart quickened anticipating their
reunion. Grandfather turned to the children and he said,
"Show Little Owl how true honor cannot be purchased but
only earned by the actions of an individual."
Young Blood, the red child spoke first to Little Owl,
"In my time we were able to witness the warrior's deeds.
Our People depended upon our fathers, brothers, uncles
and cousins who were our warriors for the defense of our
cultural, spiritual and religious ways. When the warrior was
people prospered and lived in harmony."
The white child, Snow, added,
"Do not forget how our mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins
protected us when the warriors were away and women stood in
defense of the tribe. Not only did the warriors suffer but the family
of that warrior did as well. When a warrior died, the mothers cried for the
loss of that child and the wives felt the emptiness. The warrior's children
would have only the
memories of their father."
Little Sun, the yellow child,
reached out his hand toward Little Owl then folded it with a fist over his
heart saying, "The warrior fought carrying the love and honor of the
people. This was the source of strength that helped him or her to endure
the sacrifices that must be made. In your time the veteran is forgotten.
No longer do the children hear the stories of the veteran's honor.
The role models of the children of your time are the high-paid professional
athletes and professional musicians, the corrupt politicians and wealthy
drug dealers. This is the shame of your time, no longer are the warriors
recognized, people listen only to the howls of the animal."
When Night Wind, the black child spoke,
she pointed one small index finger to the trail that a tear would make
down her cheek, "When the warriors entered into the defense of their
people they also carried in their hearts the knowledge of the destruction
and the sorrow that would follow their actions. With this understanding
the human knows that a warrior's suffering for his people will never end
but trouble his heart for the remainder of his life.
How many in your time, Little Owl, will understand what I have said?"
Read about another great WWII Hero
Van T. Barfoot
And another who wrote about it
Dudley C. Gould
With Love to You Brilliant Minds and Gentle Spirits!
I Like Ike
I was a kid, but I felt something worthwhile, trusting, good,
in Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He and Harry Truman were the last Presidents I felt
trust and assurance from.
At this updating, June 12, 2011, I've learned something I didn't know
about Ike. I had a lapse of common sense to think that any politician
can be truly honorable in their actions in a world dictated by the
almighty dollar, franc, deutchmark, or whatever name it's given.
I learned that he campaigned on newly emerging television programming
under the tutelage of the famous Ad Man; Rosser Reeves. Ike was
given scripts of answers to supposed questions the public would ask, and
unsuspecting citizens dubbed in after reading scripts of questions given
them. The finished product made it seem that people were in conversation
with the General, and that he off the top of his head was replying very
eloquently and wisely. I don't doubt his intelligence, but I am now
questioning his Integrity. Intelligence becomes maniupulation without Integrity.
I learned that the war in "Banana Land," promoted as a civil war, was
a construct of Ike's government, as he and others had vested interests there.
My source: David Halberstam's "The Fifties" which was aired on the History
Channel, Catalog #AAE-40152
THE NAVAJO CODE TALKERS
We owe them so much ~ I find this excerpt poignantly disturbing, and I
know that governments have still not learned proper respect of all people.
When Navajo boys who attended Fort Wingate turned of age, they were
targeted by the military recruiters for drafting (as our High School boys and
girls are today) into the U.S. military armed forces. At that time, when
Navajos were not citizens of the United States and not allowed to vote,
military recruiters were going throughout the federal boarding schools,
recruiting young Navajos and other Native Americans to fight in a war
that was foreign to them, their philosophy, and entire way of life!
Imagine being a sheepherder in a quiet, ordered life
and being tossed into war!
This page was started in 1997 or so...I'm glad Dad got to see it, though
it has grown much since then, and even more since his passing.
updated August 6, 2010...again June 12, 2011
HOME TRANSFORMATIONAL SVCS YOUR UNIQUE WEDDING CEREMONY YOUR WAY
MEDICINE WOMAN WINDHORSE ON HEALING ON SWINE FLU AROMATHERAPY
ON DEATH FANTASTIC IS LIFE
AVALOKITESVARA GRACE GRAND TERMINUS FOOD CHAIN TRIANGULATION BE LIGHT
WHEN WE SPEAK EXQUISITE EARTH SPRING'S PROFUSION IN THE BEGINNING
NATIVE AMERICAN ECLECTIC 1 ECLECTIC 2 KAYO SNOMO FRIENDS MEET REAL FRIENDS
DRAGON SYMBOLOGY RIDE HIM LET HIM LINGER NOW OR NEVER
OFFER HIM FLOWERS DRAGONS THREE
CREATION OF SELF SPIRIT CALLED WOLF SHAPESHIFT WARRIORESS
SHIVAMOKSHANANDA (Robert C. Sohn) MATAJI (Grandmaster Tina Sohn) OTHER FOUR WAYS
LORD OF BEGINNINGS
WWII HEROS WWII AIRBORNE OUR YOUNG WARRIORS ROTC CADETS WWII MARINES
WWII HEROS WWII HER-Os HER-O WWII AIRBORNE MARINES ANOTHER WWII HERO
OUR YOUNG WARRIORS~NAVY ROTC CADETS~ARMY OUR WOMEN IN MILITARY~AIR FORCE
BIRTHING A NEW SPIRITUAL WARRIOR
IN THE WIND (MOTORCYCLING) BOULEVARD BOMBERS (CLASSIC HOT ROD CLUB)
SUSTAINABLE FOOD CHAIN YOUR FOOD WHADDAYA THINK
LINKS INDEX WINDHORSE EVENTS RENAISSANCE MUSIC
Aromatherapy Energy Healing Meditations Biker Blessings Events
Long Island Wedding Officiant non-denominational Long Island Spiritual Services
LI Officiant LI Interfaith Minister LI Wedding Officiant LI Spiritual Counselling