“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” -Elmer Davis
I am so proud to live in the United States, and am so grateful to the many brave members of our military who have served, and are currently serving, to keep our country safe and to fight for our freedoms that we enjoy.
I am blessed to have two amazing grandpas, both still living, who served our country during WWII. I have enjoyed looking back through the histories of my grandfathers, and rereading their amazing stories, and I would love to share a little bit about them with you.
|My Grandpa (on my dad’s side)|
This is my Grandpa on my dad’s side, who I absolutely adore. Isn’t he handsome?! He is an amazing man, and is the sweetest, funniest grandpa around. He was as a sailor on a destroyer ship, the USS Halsey Powell, during WWII. His ship was hit by a kamikaze Japanese plane while in the Pacific on March 20, 1945. He still has some shrapnel that he saved from the attack.
|The USS Halsey Powell, my grandpa’s ship, being hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane|
|Japanese unconditional surrender|
My grandpa was on the destroyer in the background, off the Japanese coast, when the Japanese signed the unconditional surrender to end the war.
My grandpa wrote out his life history, including photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. for all of his children and grandchildren. I treasure this book of his experiences as a child, teenager (only 17 years old) fighting in the war, then as a father, and finally as a grandfather. I love you grandpa and am so proud of you!
|My Grandpa (on my mom’s side)|
This is my Grandpa on my mom’s side, who I also adore. He is soft-spoken, and has a wonderful sense of humor. He does not talk very much about his experiences during the war, but luckily he wrote out his life history for his family, and it is there that I learned his story.
He was a machine gun operator in the Army during WWII, and received a Purple Heart after he was hit by shell fragments from a shell that landed close to him. He also received a bronze star, among many other medals, for his service.
One of my grandpa’s final objectives while fighting the Germans in Europe was Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s famous home. They sped there, and arrived to find his estate in flames, set by the fleeing SS troopers.
|My grandpa took this picture at Hitler’s window at Berchtesgaden|
Here is an amazing photo that my grandpa took of his friends, fellow soldiers, looking out Hitler’s window at Berchtesgaden. Soldiers were not allowed to have cameras, but it just so happened that my grandpa had confiscated one from a German soldier (along with his pistol).
Grandpa, you are so brave, and I am so proud of you and your service you have given for your country.
On this Veteran’s Day, please remember those who have fought so bravely and selflessly for everyone that lives in this amazing country of ours.