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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,120
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

It makes me sad that our nation's greatest heros is slowly dwindling.

 

On average, about 300 of our Greatest Generation pass away.

 

 

Taken from the WW2 Museum website, at one time there was 16 million Americans who served in WW2.

 

Now, there are only about 325,574 of them left.

 

 

 

 

It must have been about 10 years ago now, but they had an Honor Flight to fly WW2 vets and a companion to Washington D.C. for a whirlwind tour of the monuments, that flew out of my airport.

 

 

 

I remember standing in the mezzanine, looking at all of the soldiers who were taking the trip.

 

Some were in their dress uniform, some wore camo, some wore civvies.

 

 

Some were in wheelchairs, some had walkers, some had canes, and some didn't use mobility aids.

 

 

I remember telling myself, "Remember this moment, for you'll never see this many vets together again" .

 

 

 

 

My own father was still in Basic when the war ended, so he never saw action, and because of that, he never saw himself as a true WW2 vet.

 

It was like he was embarrassed to be in the same category as those who went through hell.

 

A lot of these fine men who are in their 90's now, still have nightmares from what they went through.

 

 

My grandfather, (my dad's dad) was a WW1 vet, with the Army, and was stationed in France, and when he came home, he suffered from PTSD, even if it wasn't called that then. I think they called it "Shell Shock".

 

He never spoke about what happened, or what he went through, because nobody thought to try and heal the psychological wounds that these men suffered with.

 

They just expected them to forget about it, and move on with their lives, by getting a job, getting married, and raising a family.

 

 

The same expectations were put upon the vets who came back home from WW2.

 

They were expected to forget the horrors that they saw, and to just get on with their lives.

 

So in essence, they fought two wars.

 

One was the physical battle, the fighting, the killing, seeing friends get blown to bits, killing another human being.

 

The second, was the battle that they fought after they came home.

 

They battled the demons of their mind, the nightmares that would leave them shaking in cold sweat, screaming in their sleep, as they relived the combat of fighting an enemy long gone.

 

They delt with flashbacks, where a sudden sound instantly took them back to a life or death conflict.

 

 

They suffered all of this and more in silence, because it was thought of as being "weak" to seek help in coming to terms with their traumas.

 

 

May we never forget all  of the sacrifices that these brave men made, both in and off of the battlefield.

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/wwii-veteran-statistics 

The Sky looks different when you have someone you love up there.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,490
Registered: ‎01-27-2014

@Anonymous032819 My 94 year old Dad is one of them and he is still going strong! He fought in the Pacific. It is very sad that they are just about gone. You learn so much from actually talking to a WWII veteran who was there. My dad has shared great stories with me.....it is the little details that you never hear about in history books.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,775
Registered: ‎07-09-2011

@Goldengate8361 

 

My 93 year old Dad is also a WWII Vet.  Over years, he has written many of his recollections for me.  I am so grateful to have them, and him.

Happy for you too.

"Animals are not my whole world, but they have made my world whole" ~ Roger Caras
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,170
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

@Goldengate8361 wrote:

@Anonymous032819 My 94 year old Dad is one of them and he is still going strong! He fought in the Pacific. It is very sad that they are just about gone. You learn so much from actually talking to a WWII veteran who was there. My dad has shared great stories with me.....it is the little details that you never hear about in history books.


My 95 year old dad is also a WWII and Korean war vet and he too is going strong💕. Mind sharp as a razor and he lives independently in his own apartment.  My father as well has shared many stories with my sisters and me...especially as he has gotten older. He served in the Naval Pacific Fleet on several destroyers.  I am so grateful he is still with us, just as I am sure you are glad you still have your dad.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,170
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

@Anonymous032819 

 

Thank you for this thread. Honorable men and women are few and far between these days and I believe my dad’s generation is truly the end of an era.  I understand when you mention these men never spoke of their experiences as my father did not when we were children or even young girls. It was not until much later in his life, maybe in his 70s when he began to share the experiences that went with the pictures he had in albums. To this day, we continue to ask him to tell the stories as I do not want to forget one detail as I pass them along to my children.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,341
Registered: ‎04-19-2010

This makes me sad, too.  My dad served, but he has passed away now.

 

Look up civil war reunions or civil war vets on YouTube if you want to see those old men in the 1930s.  


-- pro-aging --


Rochester, New York
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,288
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

My dad served in WW2 in Italy & North Africa. He died in 2012. I think all of the members of his unit are now deceased. We visited the WW2 museum in New Orleans in 2019. Lots of info and exhibits.