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Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Honor of Family Veterans

 My Mom had four older brothers that were "too old" to serve in WWII.  Her two younger brothers both waited per Granny Chandler's request to be drafted.  Having grown up on a farm in Collin County, TX, during the depression, Uncle Clay had a different take on being in the service.  He said it was the warmest coat and the best pair of shoes he had ever owned!

Both brothers served in the European theater under Patton.  Uncle Clay was in a tank division.  Uncle Bud was a conscientious objector that served in the infantry.  He loaded the guns for the others to shoot.  Uncle Bud would literally not even swat a fly ever.

Uncle Bud's infantry group advanced with and actually rode on the tanks of Uncle Clay's division on the road to Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.  Uncle Bud was not part of the campaign as he had trench foot and was hospitalized at the time.

The brothers returned safely from the war.  Neither spoke much of the war until later years.  I did not get their stories on video which saddens me.  Uncle Clay did have a piece of shrapnel in his right arm.  I remember as a child touching it when sitting in his lap.  He was my Claydie and I was his Sam.  I miss both my uncles.

There were no males of age to serve from the Chandler side of my family until this year.  Aunt Opal's grandson Zach Whitehead is active duty in the Navy.

Home on leave for funeral of older brother killed in a truck wreck in Texas.

Gene's Uncle Raymond was the only one of the four brothers that went into the service during WWII.  He, too, at his mom's request waited to be drafted.  A farm boy from the rocky soil of Lawrence County, MO, the war opened up a new life for Raymond as it did for so many of the era.   Raymond spent much of his service time working in a psych ward for soldiers.  But he did end up in Germany during the final year of the war.
These pictures were made of a couple of the souvenirs Uncle Raymond brought back from Europe.  The Hotel was captured by the Allies.  In its basement Uncle Ray found a false wall hiding a huge stash of wine.  He was a popular guy with the officers when he showed them the find. The second picture is of a memorial service program in May of 1945.  It was held in Germany for the fallen Allied soldiers.

Uncle Pete Muth, who would not fall for him!

Gene's Aunt Jo married Pete Muth.  Pete was a sailor in Pearl Harbor on that infamous day in history.  Best we remember he was on the ship next to the Arizona.  He made several trips back to reunions with his shipmates until his passing.  His grandson, Josh, is committed to 20 years in the Air Force.  He is currently stationed in Germany.
Muth grandson, Josh

Gene's Aunt Lorene married Atwell (Pete) Young.   Pete served in the Air Force during WWII until retiring to Missouri in the early 1960's.  I do not have a photo of Pete in uniform.  Uncle Pete and Aunt Lorene were stationed in Germany during the Berlin airlift.  Uncle Pete was a maintenance crew Chief.  He is our only surviving WWII vet in the family as of today.
Uncle Pete (Atwell) on his 90th birthday in 2009.

I have two cousins that served in the Navy.  Phil was a "lifer" beginning his career in 1959 or 1960 and staying in for 20+ years.  His younger brother, Ronnie, served in the mid 60's.  Ronnie's daughter, Danielle, is currently a Navy nurse.  She has deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other areas supporting those two war zones.
Ret. Chief Phil and Chief Danielle

Danielle and proud Uncle Phil are celebrating her promotion to Chief.  She is wearing Phil's fouled anchors.  In addition Phil's grandson, Jessie Malvaney is active Army having served in Afganistan.

No picture of Gene in uniform is scanned in as of now.  Gene served three years in the Army beginning in 1959.  My late brother in law, Jack Baldwin served in the Air Force in the mid fifties.  Those were the Cold War years along with the Korean Conflict.

I am ending with such a benign looking picture until you realize who it is.  Evil.

Postcard to Granny Chandler from one of her boys after the surrender.

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