Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Carl" not one to boast.

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery...Rittman
This past week I interviewed an acquaintance that I knew is a WWII veteran. I spoke to him about his military service and at the end the interview he said “you are not going to use my name are you?”

I explained that the blog was about a picture and a face, combined with a story. I told him it would be difficult without his name and his picture. The 92 year old man we will call “Carl” said he did not want to appear “boastful or one to toot his own horn“.

Disappointed, I told Carl I would honor his request. I left his home thinking the story had just went down the drain. I was not until I was home that it dawned on me. Carl was speaking for nearly all veterans.

Carl’s actions are typical of the majority of our military veterans. Most provide their service and move on with their life’s without seeking special attention or recognition and for the most part, nobody ask.

When I spoke to Carl about this project he quickly stated that while he served in WWII he did not see combat. I assured him that was OK.

“ I grew up in Huntington West Virginia and was drafted in 1941 at the very start of the war. I was one of the first drafted, so I never had a chance to enlist” Carl said.

Carl told me that he was trained in the infantry and was eventually deployed to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

Carl stated that he never “saw combat” but shared that on at least two occasions the Japanese dropped bombs near where he was located. “I spent most of my time in a machine gun nest and our planes did a good job of keeping them (the Japanese ) away” He told me.

Carl stated that upon completion of his tour of duty in Alaska, he was stationed in Texas where he became involved in the training of young solders. “I was 26 years old at the time so I was older than most of the guys. We trained the solders who went to the battle of the budge” Carl said.

Once out of the military Carl moved to Ohio and worked in Rittman at the “boxboard” for 30 years.

Carl pointed out that he was just one of millions who served during WWII and each person did a part in the war effort.

Carl wants nothing in return. Not even a picture or mention of his name.

Without a picture of Carl I was once again drawn to the National Cemetery near Carl’s home. As I drove in I was surprised at the number of new headstones that have been erected in just the past two months.

Our military quietly continues to serve and needs our support.

1 comment:

  1. Doug, thank you for all your posts. I especially enjoy the stories of the Veterans, I think you are doing a wonderful thing here! Keep up the great work!


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