Thursday, November 10, 2005

Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day, here is my mom. She was WAC, a parachute rigger in WWII at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

This is an article written in January 1945 about the women parachute riggers (my mom is in the picture, lower right):

They Wear Wings of Paratroopers

She joined the service as a newly single 23-year-old with a 4-year-old son. She had to be away from him for long periods of time, leaving him with his grandparents. By the end of the war, she was a sergeant. Her personality fit the rank well, as any of you who knew her would agree with! She met my dad while in the service and they were married in December 1945. She quit the service after the war was over (she says she outranked my dad and there wasn't room in one house for two sergeants). My dad went on for a lifetime in the service. They traveled quite a bit, she always said she moved 21 times in 20 years. My dad was stationed in Japan during the occupation, and my mom went over to stay with him. My brother John was born in Japan in 1949. My dad served in Korea twice before retiring in 1964.

Buddy's dad was drafted/recruited in the spring of 1945 into the Navy, and headed out into the Pacific to Japan. By the time they got there, the war was over, so luckily he did not see any battle time. He left at home 3-year-old Kay and newborn Sue, and was glad to get home to them when he did get out in 1946.

The World War II Memorial in Washington has a website where you can look up people who were in the service during that time, or you can submit someone's name and a photo. We have submitted my mom, dad, and Buddy's dad with pictures.

WWII Memorial

The grandkids entered a Veterans Day poster contest. They all had several veterans in their families to honor on their posters, including their father(s) who served in the Navy.

3 comments:

Seeing Anew said...

As I look at pictures of people from the Forties, including your Mom, I'm struck by their appearance of such good health. Makes me want to plant a Victory Garden -- I think it was their junk-free diet back then. Did these women all have to learn to jump with a parachute? Brave souls!

jellyhead said...

You have some great stories, Susan! I bet you have great respect for your parents and the lives they led. Your mother in particular did some extraordinary things for a woman of her generation.

doubleknot said...

Let's hear it for the Veterans. My stepfather was a young boy when he was in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines. He went on to serve in Korea - the year before he died they gave him a metal honoring him as having served in Korea. My room mate served in Viet Nam and is a veteren also.

We also moved around a lot when I was young. Mostly my stepfather wasn't home because he was a Chief cook for the flagship - where the main general was. It has been a long time since I have thought about all this.

I do know that women showed they could do a lot more then men thought they could during the wars.

I have two other veterns in my family - my two uncles - one served in Vietnam I know but am not sure where the other served - there is a big age difference between the two boys grandmother had - it was like starting a whole new family for her.

I always think that doing away with the draft was the worse thing this country could do. Serving a couple of years learning some disiplin and self worth did do many young men so much good. It wouldn't hurt the yound ladies to serve also. Alas we are having weekend warriors fight our government's battles.

I will be checking out the WWII Memorial site.

Like Jellyhead said you tell wonderful stories and I really enjoy reading them. Thank you