Firstly, I wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day – my thoughts and prayers are with those of you missing someone this holiday.
I wanted to take this Factual Friday to share a personal story.
First, the factual part: As of November 2012, the VA estimates there are more than a million WWII veterans still living. However, the VA also estimates approximately 670-680 WWII veterans passed away daily during 2011. The median age for a WWII veteran in 2011 was 92 years old. (I will never understand why the government is so far behind in their statistics but at least they publish them!)
I always find these statistics amazing. To me, that means, on average, there are now 670 less stories every day about what these veterans witnessed during their time in the war the world will never hear.
Here’s my (albeit limited) contribution:
My grandfather was a WWII veteran. I don’t know much about his service because around the time I was starting to mature and grow really passionate about military history, he passed away. He left me some of his documentation before he passed and while I’m only beginning to research his time in the service, there are some things I do know.
Rockford Adams (he’s the one above with “Dad” indicated) was a member of the 55th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade stationed, I believe in England. He received a commendation (see below) and a very satisfactory inspection of his observation post (incidentally, number 5 which is my “lucky” number). Also, below is one of his documents from returning to the U.S (I’ve redacted his Army Serial Number).
As for his military service, that’s all I know right now. I’m in the process of requesting his service records. There are scores of other things I could tell you about my grandfather (I inherited my love of building models from him) but they would be long after his service. I wish I could talk to him to learn more about what he went through. So if you have a WWII veteran still alive, I would highly encourage you to talk with them if they are willing because putting it off, even one day, may be too late.
As always, thank you to all the men and women who serve in our military and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, a very special thank you indeed.
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day!