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.

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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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Drill Sergeants in the Military Can be Very Tough When Needed

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Military news…

The Pentagon wants to get rid of 24 ships and more than 150 aircraft

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The Air Force wants to spend big bucks replacing its decades-old surveillance plane

“It just really takes miracle workers … to keep these airplanes in the air.”

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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is finally coming to theaters — and Russia may be the villain


Maverick is still, presumably, in the danger zone

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Russian Forces Halt Kyiv Advance as Kremlin Says Donbass Was Only Goal All Along

A month into its invasion of Ukraine, Russia appears to be reducing its war plans from annexing the entire country to holding the region called the Donbass. A top Russian military officer said this has always been the intended mission.

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Marines Barred From Traveling to Ukraine as Americans Try to Join Fight

The Marine Corps has barred its personnel from traveling to Ukraine and the neighboring countries of Belarus and Moldova amid reports of U.S. military veterans going to assist Ukrainians.

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National Medal of Honor Museum Breaks Ground in Texas

The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation broke ground on its future campus in Arlington, Texas, in a ceremony attended by 15 veterans who received the Medal of Honor for actions in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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Russian Troops’ Tendency to Talk on Unsecured Lines is Proving Costly

The Russian military possesses modern equipment capable of secure transmission, but troops in Ukraine have picked up simpler-to-use but less-secure lines because of sketchy discipline and an apparent lack of planning for long-term combat operations.

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Here is another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

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You Never Know Who Your Friends May Be In the Military

I had my basic training at Fort Ord California, which is now closed. I enlisted with two buddies, and we all were in the same company. It was kind of fun, because we all did things together. I could write another book on just the happenings at basic training. Many of the stories are humorous, others not so humorous. 

A few of the soldiers were people that were drafted, which were still going on in the early sixties. Those people didn’t like being there and even marked their calendars until the day they got out. They only had two years, and their first year was nearly over by the time they got to MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) training.

The soldiers seemed to separate each other into enlisted, and draftees. Not in the form of gangs liked you see on the streets, but there were a definite divided feeling in the two groups.

I remember one incident that made me admire my drill sergeant a great deal. One of the draftees was complaining about being in the military, and my drill sergeant told him to straighten up and quit being a baby. The draftee challenged the drill sergeant to a fight. The drill sergeant was a short and thin guy, and the draftee was a linebacker sized guy. We all thought it would be over quick, with the draftee winning easily.

The sergeant told the draftee they would fight in the platoon leader’s bedroom. (I wasn’t sure why that was the choice, because those rooms are pretty small.)

Then we heard a lot of crashing and groans coming out of that room. The door opened, and we were sure it would be the draftee coming out, but it was that tiny drill sergeant. He was bloodied up, but the draftee was unconscious and lying face down on the floor.

We realized that our drill sergeant was the toughest man on the planet and we were to do what he said or pay the price. Surprisingly, all of us loved and respected him after that. Even the draftee was very respectful to the sergeant.

What do we need to do to gain respect? It probably isn’t a good idea to fight someone to gain respect like my drill sergeant did. What things would gain respect of others?

How about putting others first? Maybe it is being a friend to someone who really needs support. It could be going that extra mile for someone. It says in the Bible, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6: 31 NIV) Keep that in mind each day you are interactive with others.

There is a, “I am tough,” type mentality in the military. However, we aren’t always out in the trenches. We aren’t always threatened by the enemy. You have times when you can think about things and maybe reach out to someone around you who you know is hurting. Many of your buddies never want to tell you that they are depressed. That is a “sissy,” approach in their mind.

However, you can tell they are hurting, because you may have felt hurt yourself. When two people are on the same wave link, they can help each other through the storms of life.

Try this approach and see if your friendships develop into best friends forever (BFF) type situation.

IWILL

God knows what loneliness and depression is. He sent His only Son down to this earth to face the whole world on His own. He knew His Son would feel alone. He knew that his Son would be rejected. Yet, God did all of this for you and me so that we can know that we have eternal life if we believe in Him. He will help you with your own depression and loneliness if you let Him. 

Think about this

Isn’t it sad how we allow bad things to rise up in our heads, and cause us to feel depressed?

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There may be more excerpts in the future, so keep coming back to check this site out. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on Subscribe. When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

________________________________________________________________

Checking in on you. How are you doing? Did you lose some friends while in the military?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,200 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.

While Deployed in the Military, Loneliness Sucks the Life Out of You.

+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.

________________________________________________________________

Military news…

‘Tanks and mud are not friends’ — Ukraine’s terrain is proving to be a problem for Russian armor

“Eastern Europe is either frozen or it’s muddy, that’s just how it is.”

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The Army is now letting soldiers pick their first duty station


Make sure to read the fine print, though
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Congress takes step towards granting free health care to millions of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans

It’s one of many needed.

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Where is the Russian Air Force? Experts break down why they might be hiding


“It is clear to us that Russia is losing aircraft and helicopters at a damaging rate.”

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Putin likens sanctions to ‘declaration of war,’ says invasion pushback risks future of Ukrainian statehood

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said that sanctions and pushback from leaders in Ukraine and around the world in response to the invasion are risking “the future of Ukrainian statehood.”

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Zelenskyy ‘desperate’ plea to US Congress: Send more planes

Fighting for his country’s survival, Ukraine’s leader made a “desperate” plea Saturday to American lawmakers for the United States to help get more warplanes to his military and cut off Russian oil imports as Kyiv tries to stave off the Russian invasion.

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My take….

Putin is directing his bombs on residential areas. Apartments etc. Very barbaric. He is desperate.

He is even losing support from his own military officers. The parliament is not happy either.

An interview of a young teenager in Russia, says he is not happy with his countries choices. He says the allies should help to end this war.

Up to fifty Russian planes have been shot down. 44 tanks have been destroyed. A whole convoy wiped out. Many helicopters destroyed. Seems to be that the Ukrainians are holding tough.

Over 11,000 Russians have been killed.

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Here is another chapter from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the trenches of Life. This one is about the loneliness you face when deployed.

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Loneliness Sucks the Life Out of You

I have written about loneliness already in this book, but I think one of the biggest battles a person in the military may battle is the loneliness that creeps up on them.

Many civilians do not understand how you can be lonely when you have so many other soldiers around you.

It may be hard to comprehend, but all those other soldiers are from all over the country, and do not relate to your needs of needing to connect with your home. They all have their own worlds of loneliness from not hearing from their own loved ones.

I think the worst time of my own loneliness was while I was stationed in Korea. We were stationed on a small base called Camp Red Cloud. There weren’t a lot of soldiers there. I was with the Army Security Agency, and we were there to help keep the peace plus monitor the radio waves to make sure there were no breaches of security.

Being there made me really feel isolated. I was in a foreign country that didn’t speak my language.

That was only part of it. We realized once we settled in to our duties that the people there didn’t want us to be there. We heard rumors about people throwing rocks at the military trucks as they drove from one place to the next. We were protecting them from North Korea, and they wanted us to leave. Didn’t make sense to me, and I am sure it didn’t make sense to any of you who have gone through the same thing.

My task was to be stationed on top of a high hill-they were all numbered- outside of the camp monitoring the radio waves for breaches of security. My hill was hill 468. Talk about being isolated. It was just one person, alone on top of that hill for twelve hour shifts. I was alone inside a deuce and a half ton truck that was full of radio equipment.

The silence was deafening! Just a slight scratch on the roof of the truck had you grabbing your rifle and aiming it at the door. We had antennas attached to the roof to help us get good reception, and the wind often caused the antennas to rub against the roof of the truck. It sounded like someone was on the roof.

You had to be tough. You couldn’t call down to the camp and ask someone to come up. The rest of them had to go through the same things and they knew exactly why you would be calling. No sissy people allowed!!

During the twelve hours shifts you had free time to think, and I mean deep thinking. It wasn’t good to have such long quite times. You thought about home. You thought about that girlfriend waiting for you. You thought about the fun times you were missing, such as fishing in the lake near the farm where I grew up.

So, I know what loneliness is all about. I know what you each have gone through. I feel your pain.

Loneliness is something we allow to happen. We let it creep into our system like the plague. We don’t fight it enough to make it go away.

After about a month of battling the loneliness in Korea I came up with some ideas to conquer loneliness, and survive. Hopefully it will help you as well, if you are deployed or even a veteran back in civilian life:

  • Write a journal. Don’t worry about what to write, just write. I wrote about some fun times I had in high school. I wrote about the biggest fish I ever caught as a youngster. I even wrote about being bullied in grade school. By putting down the good and the bad, I was able to release my feelings down on paper. It was like I was having a session with a counselor, only on paper.
  • I became an avid reader. Reading takes you into another world. A world you become a part of. You feel the pain; the happiness, and the fear the characters go through. They become family and you are guided through their lives in in a way you can learn about coping in your own life.
  • Send letters home. I know many of you now have SKYP and many other ways to communicate, but the written word seems so much more personal to me. Sending a letter to your family is a direct connection that I can almost guarantee you they will cherish, and keep forever.

Among the books I read was the Bible. I read it every day. I found comfort through many of the passages. I recommend Psalms, Isaiah, Jerimiah, Genesis, and Proverbs from the Old Testament and all of the New Testament.

Don’t let loneliness control your life. Take steps to rid the darkness that it can cause in your life. God is always there for you. He loves you. He even loves me warts and all.

IWILL

Loneliness is a direct cause of depression, and sadness. Try to fill your life with things you enjoy. Don’t sit and think of negative things. Don’t hide from the world where you are stationed overseas. Find things to fill your day that will change your attitude, and give you hope.  

Think about this

Isn’t it great that the more we communicate the happier we are?

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Come back and read more chapters from the book, Signs of Hope for he Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on subscribe. When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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Checking in on you. How are you doing? Did you face loneliness while deployed?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 14,104 veterans on this site who have you back. (BTW…on my last post there were 14,068. That is an increase of 36 in just two days. The subscriptions are skyrocketing right now, and I am very pleased.)

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

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If you are battling mentally, because of your love for others, but it isn’t working, 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 no 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.