How many of you know someone who served in the military during World War II? How many of you heard them tell stories of sacrifice, pain (lice, foot rot, empty bellies), injury (medal plates in the head), death, poor upper level planning (D-Day landing nightmares), no equipment (WWI issue guns w/little or no ammunition), POW stories (Bataan Death March), adventures and misadventures?

Ed Friend leader of WWII Vet organization 10-1945

My Dad (middle) helped organize WWII Vet group!

 

Well, I have and am proud to say my Uncle Bruce survived D-Day and has talked about the horrors of it everyday since. How they were taken to the wrong drop off point and were told to get into water too deep with 40 pound backpacks on causing so many to drown. How they were so horribly mowed down by German machine guns on the beaches and so many other stories. My father’s flying escapades as confidential courier and goods/troop transport. My Uncle-in-law’s survival of the Bataan Death March and how 10,000 Japanese contained 40,000 Americans because we had no ammunition or rifles that worked and how General McArthur abandoned his men there.

Bruce Friend-1944 photo and story of his D-Day experiences!

Uncle Bruce Friend and the article about how his D-Day turned out!

How many of you have heard personal accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis? How close we were to WWIII because of Russia sending missile installations to Cuba? I remember it well as I had a brother in the Navy who was on the front line of it. His stories are incredible.

This is a time, as is everyday, to pay our respects for ALL service persons, of yesteryear and today, and to do all we can to assist them in proper healthcare, emotional support and help them re-integrate with their families, friends and loved ones. I know I could never have survived the rigors of boot camp not because I couldn’t have physically performed but because it would have killed too much of my soul. Creative people are like that.

I just finished watching two movies out of my love of WWII history as well as the characters leading this country’s men during that most awful two-front war. “Patton” was a remarkable, revealing depiction of an extraordinary visionary and leader/warrior. He was so passionate about what he was supposed to do with his life that nothing else mattered. I then watched “The Last Days of Patton” which revealed the irony of this larger-than-life man’s last days and how it conflicted with everything he had envisioned for himself.

We, at Ava’s Corner, Inc., understand and appreciate those who make these sacrifices and their challenges upon returning. Please go to http://www.avascorner.org and find our “Military” tab under “Resource Center.” We try to keep up with all the wonderful non-profit programs available but if you know of one we need to add, please contact us!

It takes great leaders willing to sacrifice much to create a safe country. I’m ready for that again, aren’t you? Be sure to vote in all upcoming elections to ensure such a day in our future and that of our loved ones.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

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