The Heroes From D-Day 1944 Had Fearful Moments When They parachuted in.

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Military news…

NATO fighter jets intercept Russian planes over Black and Baltic seas
NATO fighter jets positioned around the Baltic and Black seas scrambled multiple times over four days to track and intercept Russian aircraft flying near allied airspace, NATO said Friday.

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National Guard soldiers work again with Ukrainian troops they trained before Russian invasion

Florida National Guard soldiers who trained troops in Ukraine before Russia’s invasion are now training Ukrainian forces again outside the war-torn country, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Friday.

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Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

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North Korea fires suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile, South’s military says
North Korea fired what is suspected to be a short-range ballistic missile off its eastern coast, according to a message sent to reporters from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Saturday.

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Dozens feared dead in bombing of Ukrainian school

Scores of Ukrainians were feared dead Sunday after a Russian bomb flattened a school where about 90 people were taking shelter in the basement, while Ukrainian fighters held out inside Mariupol’s steel plant as Moscow’s forces apparently raced to capture the city ahead of Russia’s Victory Day holiday.

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Ukraine is rebuilding cities as fast as Russia destroyed them

The rebuilding effort is imbued with a sense of optimism that Ukraine will outlast Russia’s assault. Volunteers are mostly carrying it out, allowing government funds to remain focused on the war.

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Last Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol vow to fight ‘as long as we are alive’

Civilians in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant have been evacuated, but fighters who remain there say there is no way out.

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What follows is some information about some Band of Brothers who lived right in my home town. These soldiers fought in WWII and parachuted behind enemy lines on D-Day June of 1944. They were called Easy company. They are part of my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

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Band of Brothers in my home town.

One of the honors I shared was right in my home town of Salem, Oregon. Three members of the Band of Brothers live close to me. Two of the three died before I started this book.

One name was Leo Boyle and high school teacher and then the special education director. He was the least known. He died in 1997. That was four years before the Emmy winning television series aired.

Only Bill Wingett was still living when I started this book. He was in a military assisted facility in Lebanon, Oregon. I was ready to go interview him and the pandemic hit. He died before I could get to him.

He is part of the ever shrinking Easy Company of the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, which most Americans know as the Band of Brothers.

I also personally met another Band of Brothers in Minneapolis, Wisconsin.  I bought his book that shares many of the actual happenings in WWII that was done by this group.

A list shows that there are only 14 Brothers left, but it is outdated.

Easy company was involved of some of the most brutal on D-Day over 75 years ago. They also fought during Market Garden-the battle of Bastogne, and the Battle of the Bulge.

But the whole story about them got started on June 6th, 1944. They were assigned a night jump behind enemy lines several hours before the invasion.

Wingett said that one day was a “red-letter day.”

As important as that day was some details faded for him who just turned 97 during this interview for the Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon. The interviewer was Capi Lynn.

“I may not be able to dig up some of the stories, but I lived them,” Wingett said. He really didn’t want to tell his own stories.

Years ago he described D-Day like this, “We got in an airplane in England and we jumped out of the Damn thing in France, and the fight began. There’s not much more to say about that.”

His group jumped into darkness in the early morning hours.

The target was Utah Beach. The allies divided the 60-mile coastal stretch into five code-named sectors for the invasion. Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sward were the others.

Wingett landed where the Germans flooded the area as a defensive tactic. Many paratroopers were killed by gun-fire before they hit the ground. And many more drowned.

Wingett struggled in the water That day. He only survived because he was slowly able to shed much of the 150 pounds of gear he was carrying, including a main and reserve chutes, weapons, ammunition, and rations, between breaths of air above water.

Malarkey from Salem, jumped roughly in the same area and landed in a tree. He dangled in his chute until he got his bearings, then cut himself loose and fell to the ground.

He went on to serve more time on the front lines than any Easy Company soldiers. He received the Bronze Star for his bravery in the Battle of Brecourt Manor.

Boyle also parachuted into Normandy, where he was wounded and evacuated to England. Boyle was later promoted to Staff Sergeant, and served as commanding officer Richard Winters’ right hand man before being severely wounded during Operation Market Garden. He was discharged after nine months in various hospitals.

Wingett said he never had a close call even though he was wounded three times.

I wasn’t able to see all of his medals because of the Pandemic. He had a purple heart with two oak leaf clusters. This was along with the many medals, ribbons, badges, and patches displayed in a frame on the wall in the apartment where he lived at the Oregon Veteran’s Home in Lebanon, Oregon.

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There are more parts of the book dedicated to these heroes from WWII. Come back of ten to check them out. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,640 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.

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If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Several Interviews With WWII Veterans Who Are Struggling Today.

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Military news…

New electronic records system crashes at VA hospitals as lawmakers question officials about earlier system outages

House lawmakers told officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs this week to halt their launch of the agency’s new electronic health records system at any other facilities until the problems that caused outages at the first two medical centers to use the new system are fixed.

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Naval Submarine Base New London honors Gold Star families

The Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Conn., held a flag dedication event Tuesday afternoon in honor of Navy Gold Star Awareness Month.

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US Army in Germany resumes training Ukrainian forces, with focus on Western weaponry

The resumption of the Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine mission has Ukrainian soldiers working with 155 mm howitzers, radars and other gear.

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Rebuilding US relationship with Russia will require ouster of Putin, senator says
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not fit to serve, said Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and any opportunity to restore ties with Russia will need to be predicated on the next leader of the country.

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Denmark and prospective NATO member Sweden say Russia flew into their airspace

A Russian spy plane violated NATO airspace in recent days, prompting the Kremlin’s ambassador to Denmark to be summoned over the incident, the top Danish diplomat announced.

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Biden seeks to rob Putin of his top scientists with visa lure

The Biden administration has a plan to rob Russian President Vladimir Putin of some of his best innovators by waiving some visa requirements for highly educated Russians who want to come to the U.S., according to people familiar with the strategy.

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On the battlefield, Ukraine uses Soviet-era weapons against Russia

In a town near the front with Russia in eastern Ukraine, grease-stained Ukrainian soldiers huddled over the engine hatch of a battle-damaged T-64BV battle tank. They had been working for three days straight.

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What follows are several combined interviews for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. with veterans who are at the Trinka Assisted Living Facility for veterans.

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Interviews with Veterans from The Trinka Assisted Living Facility

The following interviews will not have names. I just used the initials of the men who fought mostly in WWII. Others were in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. I am honoring their wishes to not name them, but they are still heroes. They are all residents of the Trinka Davis Assisted Living Facility in Carrolton, Georgia. Their stories may make you sad and yet give you hope.

My first interview is with WJ. He passed away recently. He was almost 97.

Tell us why you enlisted since you were married and had a small child?

WJ– I felt it was my duty just like the many other men and women who enlisted. I joined the Navy in 1942. I became a Petty Officer. I served in many navel stations during my career.

Then what happened?

WJ- I became seriously ill in 1945. I was granted total disability, and received an honorable discharge.

What happen in the private sector?

WJ- I worked for a lumber company, and later for a plastic company. I eventually started a lumber company that I operated until I retired.

+WJ and his wife received the coveted, “The Book of Golden Deeds Award,” for consistently serving their fellow man, and for their kindness and compassion for others.

WJ- Had his own garden where he raised tomatoes, and okra. He also fed the local birds with his bird feeder, which he could see right out of his window. The birds really flocked there and he had to reload the feeders several times a day.

WJ- was a heavy supporter of the local Masonic Lodge, which he had been a part of for over 65 years. He also was an avid recruiter for the American Legion Post in Carrollton, Georgia.

+ This kind of interview does not show you the guts and gore that war brings, but it shows you that WWII veterans are just like you and I. They are no different, and deserve equal treatment in all phases of life. I was very honored to write about WJ and his service to his country.

CB- is another member of the same assisted living facility that houses only military veterans. I will be sharing more about this facility here.

CB- At 19 years old CB sat bravely on a halftrack behind a .50 caliber machine gun firing steadily at the attacking German troops. Because of what he did he is almost totally deaf now. He was wounded in the leg with shrapnel and was sent back into the battle again. He was wounded the second time and received two Purple Hearts. (Maybe he should have received some other medals.)

When did you get into the Army?

CB- I was drafted into the Army in June of 1943. I started basic training, but I wasn’t able to finish because of a birth defect in my feet.

So what did they do with you?

CB-They assigned me to a work detail on the base. From there I was transferred to Company A of the 48th infantry Battalion and sent to Europe. I spent my time in Europe manning a .50 caliber machine gun. The noise ruined my hearing, and I have still had a heavy loss today. I am 90 years old. I was discharged and started my own funeral home.

As of this writing CB is still at Trinka Davis Assisted Living in Georgia. He is receiving intensive care for the many wounds and hearing loss he faced while serving our country.

CH- is a young thirty something Army veteran who served in Iraq during the war. He cannot tell you his story personally, because his disability has taken away his capacity to verbalize anything much beyond some grunting sounds.

He has to be fed through a tube in his stomach. What ever happened to him also caused a muscular disorder causing him to not be able to use his hands. In order to communicate his needs to others, he has a small letter board letter board and he has to force in his hands to point to one letter at a time.

His condition is irreversible, and the price he paid for his service should never be forgotten.

The “story,” is about HY- He was a highly decorated WWII veteran. He spent eighteen months as a prisoner of war in Germany. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, and two Purple Hearts.

HY- entered the Air force in 1942. (I was only three years old then.) He was nineteen years old. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant while serving with the 376th Bomber group, which was a part of the 514th Squadron.

He was a turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber. His plane was shot down over Italy on December 28th 1943. During the war the average life span of a turret gunner was approximately three missions.

HY- was wounded and had to parachute to survive. He was quickly spotted by the Germans and captured. He was taken from Italy to Austria. HY spent eighteen difficult months in Stalag 17 as a prisoner of war.

HY- was tortured, but often treated pretty well. HY went from 160 pounds to 118 pounds. He was liberated three days after the war ended.

HY- was discharged for the Army with 100% disability. He had to live with the memories from Stalag 17.

PA-served in the military from 2008 to 2010. While serving in Iraq PA contracted an airborne virus that went through his nose and into his brain. This caused tremendous irreversible damage. Despite several brain surgeries PA had serious short term memory, and some long term memory problems. This made it extremely hard to function in a normal matter.

PA was a “gentle giant,” to his friends. Because of the many surgeries PA functioned more like a child. He was one of the most gut wrenching cases at Trinka Davis.

+As you can see I didn’t interview many of the veterans at Trinka Davis Assisted Living, but I was able to share their stories of their life in the military, and after. Their privacy is of the utmost importance.

The next veteran is not a WWII veteran, but he served in Korea and Vietnam. He was a Master Sergeant who was in the Air Force. He Enlisted in 1949. He had a top secret clearance as a Flight Engineer on a C-124 Globemaster. He flew out of Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, and several other bases.

Where did you do most of your flying?

FL We did most of our flights over Vietnam. We were exposed to Agent Orange, and we had a few bullets holes in our plane from time to time.

So that is about all I learned personally from FL, but he went on to start his own deli business. He also worked on maintenance for the U.S. Postal Service, and crafted glass. Eventually his health worsened to where he was sent to Trinka Davis Assisted Living along with many other veterans. While there he has become famous for his paintings, and model airplanes that he built. He was 85 years old as of this writing.

JG retired from the Army as a Sergeant First Class on December 21, 1992 after serving twenty-two years.

His training was at Fort Gordon Georgia, where I was trained. He went to the same Signal school I went to. I feel especially close to this hero. He had the usual top secret clearance routine, and even went to the Pentagon to take a polygraph test.

(I didn’t go that far, but my mom was shocked when the FBI came knocking at her door to ask questions.)

JG was then assigned the elite United States Special Security Group. They worked several bases to support the Commanding General, and the Chief of Staff at those bases.

JG Served in many countries like Korea, Germany, South East Asia, Thailand, and Turkey. This was all going on while he was apart from his family. Deployments can be very hard on a family.

Toward the end of his service JG started have some health issues. He was unable to find a job because of it. The VA gave him a 40% disability rating. His condition grew much worse and he was given 100% disability.

+As you can see I didn’t get interviews with many of the veterans at Trinka Davis Assisted Living, but I was able to share their life in the military, and after. Their privacy is of the utmost importance to me.

LB enlisted on the Army at the age of 19 just as the Vietnam war began. He served in the Army for 17 years. Six of those years were in Germany and two years near the dangerous DMZ (Demilitarized Zone,) in Korea. (I was also deployed to Korea. I went to see the DMZ Zone. I was a radio man just like LB. Small world.)

LB Developed high blood pressure and was discharged from the military in 1986. After his discharge he became an eighteen wheeler truck driver. That didn’t last long because of his progressing health problems. He had two strokes, which made it impossible for him to continue working. LB is extremely quiet about his own life. We do know he paid a high price for his dedication to his country.

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Some of the interviews and information was very difficult for me. Keep coming back to see more interviews. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,572 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.

______________________________________________________________

If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

______________________________________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_______________________________________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Mariupol teeters as Ukrainians defy surrender-or-die demand

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Russian ship sinks after battling a fire that Ukrainian forces claim was caused by their missile attack
A Russian cruiser that Ukrainian forces claim they hit with two missiles has sunk, the Russian Defense Ministry reported Thursday.

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DOD identifies remains of WWII pilot and Medal of Honor recipient Addison Baker

On April 8, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified the remains of Lt. Col. Addison Baker, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.

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North Korea tests ‘tactical guided’ weapons, condemns US-South Korean drills
The initial estimates peg the projectiles as more limited in range than a launch March 24 of an intercontinental ballistic missile that was theoretically capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.  North Korea has conducted at least 11 other rounds of missile tests so far this year.

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Mariupol teeters as Ukrainians defy surrender-or-die demand

If Mariupol is captured, Russian forces there are expected to join an all-out offensive in the coming days for control of the Donbas, the eastern industrial region that the Kremlin is bent on taking after failing in its bid to seize Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.

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In Lviv, displaced artists create anti-war, anti-Russian work

Ukrainians feel a need to tell the world — and especially Russians — what has happened here. The country’s contemporary artists find themselves at the forefront of that storytelling mission.

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US troops to train Ukrainian forces on howitzers in coming days
The training, which will occur outside Ukraine, will teach Ukrainian forces to operate the 155mm howitzers. They will then return to the fight and train other Ukrainians to use the American cannons, the official said.

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Zelenskky: Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine has begun

Russia launched its long-feared, full-scale offensive to take control of Ukraine’s east on Monday, attacking along a broad front over 300 miles long, Ukrainian officials said in what marked the opening of a new and potentially climactic phase of the war.

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Two short stories about my own Uncles who fought in WWII. They are my heroes.

My Uncles in WWII

My Uncle Dwight Wood was a WWII veteran. He had a hard time sharing his time in the military, so I wasn’t able to interview him directly, but I did get some idea of what he went through to help defend our country.

Uncle Dwight was the driver of a tank during the war. One day he was in the tank with two other soldiers. A Japanese soldier climbed onto the top of the tank and threw a grenade down into the tank where they were. The grenade instantly killed one of the men right next to my uncle, and my uncle and the other men were wounded with fragments from the grenade. My uncle was given the Purple Heart, and to his death he would not talk too much about his time in the military. The event of seeing his buddy killed right before his eyes was too overwhelming, and it had haunted him until his death. They didn’t even know what PTSD was back in WWII. It was called, “Shell Shock,” back then.  This is a classic case that shows that thousands of WWII veterans surely lived with PTSD all of their lives. 

Another person who was a WWII veteran was my Uncle Claude.  He was a Seabee. The Seabees were an extremely important part of the military. They built bridges, forged roads through the brush. They built sleeping quarters for the troops. It hard to say how many lives were affected by their heroics, but they were very much admired by the rest of the troops.  I never got to ask him any question about his time.

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I will be sharing some more endorsements in my next post. Be sure to come back and check them out. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on subscribe. When you do all future posts will come directly to you inbox.

________________________________________________________________

Checking in on you. How are you doing? Is everything going OK, or are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,345 veterans on this site who have your back.

Here is what I am asking you to do…please share this site with as many other veterans as you can. It has helped so many.

______________________________________________________________

If you are battling mentally, but you are losing, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

________________________________________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

________________________________________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.