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Today is December 7th.

The Day that Japan Bombed Pearl Harbor and brought the United States of America into WWII.

My father quit HS at 17. He left Commerce Ok, yes he knew Mickey Mantle and his family ,and joined the Navy SeaBees.

He spent the next 4.5 years floating around in the pacific ocean going onto islands while fighting was still going on to build airstrips, harbors etc driving a bulldoze and getting shot at by snipers, being shelled with artillery etc.

He was seriously wounded in 1945 and it took him several months to heal.
During the early 60's before he reached his 40's which is the prime of life,he was no longer able to perform his duties as a foreman for Castle Steel in Kansas City Mo because of the injuries he received less than twenty years before.

He was forced to go on Social Security and a after several years of fighting with the VA he was finally awarded a small pension for the injuries received during the war.

He did whatever sidework he could when he was able to help supplement his income so he could raise his family. Sometimes he would do manual labor for a few days and then be bedridden for weeks recovering from working his broken body too hard.

He wanted me and my brother and sisters to have a better life than he did and he never felt like he was doing enough for us. He always felt guilty that he was getting a government check and not working like an American should. He felt that people looked down on him because he looked normal but didn't have a job.

He was at every baseball practice or event that I ever had.

I normally am not an emo kind of guy and really never ever said what I just wrote to anyone.

Today I asked 3 different people under the age of 30 if they knew what today was.

The answer from everyone of them was no.

I said it is A Day that will live in Infamy

and all three just looked at me still not having a clue what I was talking about.

I then said it is December 7th the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and all three looked at me and said Oh yeah that's right.

Mike
 

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That was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. My grandfathers were too young to have fought in WWII. Both served in Korea, my paternal gf in the Army, and my maternal in the Navy. My dad was also too young to have fought in Vietnam, as he turned "of age" as the war was winding down. My father-in-law, however, was in the Corps during Vietnam as a Huey gunner, and did, I think, two tours of duty.

I couldn't imagine being alive on that day. I mean, being cognizant of 9/11 was bad enough, but to have seen something like that would just blow my mind.

I know I'm of no use to the armed services. I've got a few health problems that would preclude me from frontline duty, so I do what I can, working for a defense subcontractor. At least I can help build our men and women what they need to fight our battles.

In any case, I hope some people understand the gravity of the day and what it really meant.

JR
 

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I watched Ken Burns film The War last month. It occurred to me that no one under the age of 65 really understands the events of WWII. WWI was said to be the war to end all wars.... amazing. And while many compare our current involvement in the Middle East to Vietnam.... it's not even close. Several thousand lost men and women compared to tens of thousands. How quickly we forget.
 

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I'm glad to see a thread about this today. Most of us here are too young to remember this - but, regardless, May We Never Forget....
 

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Thanks Mike for sharing this thread and your comments.

You must be real proud of your dad.
There aren't too many veterans of WW2 left alive.
My dad is still here at 90.
He worked on making the bomb sights for the heavy duty bombers. He wanted to be a pilot but was turned down due to an earlier injury.

May all those who have died in defense of freedom in all previous and present wars rest in peace. :usa:
 

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May all those who have died in defense of freedom in all previous and present wars rest in peace. :usa:
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Well said!

Mike, very touching story about your Dad, thank you for sharing it with us. It must have been extremely hard for him to "retire" (can't think of a better term) at such a young age. But, his being there for you and your siblings is the most valuable thing he could have done as a parent.

My grandfather (deceased in 83) was in WWII. He was a Navy guy, though I don't remember what he did. I do remember though, having to do a report/interview for a history class on all the DPW projects that came out after the war (New Deal??) it's been a long time. It was amazing to hear the stories of how little they got paid for doing public improvements (sidewalks, stuff like that).

My Dad was in Vietnam, in the Army. He was in the motor pool, didn't see any front line action, but he did witness a friend get killed by a sniper shot, and caught one in the leg himself. He recovered fully, and I never would have known if he hadn't told me.
 

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If I remember correctly, my grandmother's brother was one of the first of many men to perish in Pearl Harbor. He was told "it was the safest place to be"...

I saw a Nam Vet today, ringing the infamous Red Bell. I touched his arm, said "Thank you" "thank you for being brave and serving our country." He took his glove off and shook my hand with a warm "God Bless You. Thank you, you're welcome"

It hurts my feelings as an AMERICAN that my child gets the day off of school for MLK day, but not Veteran's Day. I DO NOT INTEND ANY OFFENSE TO ANYONE HERE WITH THAT STATEMENT!

Maybe next year, we'll take the day off on Vet's Day and do something special together.

:salute: to the bravery of those we've lost and those that are still here.
 

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Mike,

Thanks for sharing with all of us on the sacrifices your dad made for all of us. WWII was a long time ago, and I doubt ayone in this forum was around then.

I remember every Dec 7, and think of my Pearl Harbour brothers. Having proudly served in the Navy from 1977-1985, I know it is tough, even tougher during war.

You did not say whether he is still alive or not. I hope he is, as he sounds like a wonderful guy.

let him know there are is still many people that appreciate his sacrifice, and know he did the right thing.
 

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My mom's neighbor was in flight training when the war ended, and was stationed in Germany for awhile after that. I have a great uncle, whom I have never met, who drove a supply truck somewhere in Europe during the war.

I am a bit of a war buff, and all I can say is that when the World Trade Center came down, there were a few people who lived on the homefront (not mentioned above) who said that they could not go through "another Pearl Harbor."

I know a few Vietnam veterans, but I have never talked to them extensively about the war; I know there's something there that they don't want to talk about. I know my company's fleet Mechanic was a Marine Corps Tank Mechanic (overseas on base, not in combat), who said that all the wicked war movies (Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, etc.) did not even cut what went on there. That's all I know.

I salute all the veterans, for everything.
 

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You did not say whether he is still alive or not. I hope he is, as he sounds like a wonderful guy.


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My dad passed away in 1992

Mike
 

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I don't imagine many people my age understand the impact of it. Heck, even I don't and this is one of those things I find myself thinking about from time to time.

Both my grandfathers served in the military. I don't know when or where my dad's dad served. He worked at the Ford plant for decades but he died the year before I was born.
My mom's dad was in the SeaBees in the Phillippines. He must've joined in 1954 I think, right out of high school.

I don't have any close relatives who were of age to serve in Vietnam. I have an uncle who served in the Navy in the late '80s.

One of my best friends is in the National Guard, he's going to be a helicopter mechanic. He started training in June.

It's tough for me to put meaningful words together, so :salute: to those in the service, past and present.
 
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