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TO OUR VETERANS - THANK YOU !!


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Memorial Day is a great reminder to pause and to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of our freedom and our way of life.

At last night's Cruise Night in Chalmette, Louisiana, sponsored by the St. Bernard Parish Chapter of Louisiana Region AACA, we paused our '50s music to do just that, honoring those who did not return, as well as those who survived to tell their story.

Albert Roth, my father, served in the first wave of Saebees - 6th Special Battalion, USN. Boot Camp and special training at Dam Neck/Oceana/Norfolk in January-March, 1943, a troop train to San Diego, and then shipping out to Auckland, New Zealand with an immediate turnaround to the islands of Vella Lavella, Treasury, Figi, Bougainville, and so many others.

The 6th Special Seabees Battalion was establishing Port and Airstrip Facilities on islands that were still Japanese-Controlled. I've been told by Marines, that despite inter-service competitive spirit, that the USMC really respected what the Seabees did, and likely could not have taken the Solomon Islands without them.

Admiral Halsey is quoted as having said "when I see one of those Seabee Bulldozers, I could kiss it".

Dad didn't talk about his service which lasted the duration of the war in the Pacific. I did see some of the CENSORED letters he and mom exchanged with segments cut out or blackened - "Loose Lips Sink Ships". There were no liberty ports, and they had no real liberty until the returned to Treasure Island/San Francisco, many months after V-J Day and the end of the war - amazing by today's standards.

On the home front, My mother, Martha Roth spent my first 4 years in a New York City factory, making and inspecting tents for our military, Sewing "MR" as instructed in the corner of those which passed her scrupulous inspection, and hoping that dad might get to use one of them and recognize her sewn-in initials, knowing that she had given it special care. Years later, relating her story at a 6th Special Battalion Reunion at Biltmore, one of dad's officers told mom that all inspectors used the same "MR" code, that as well as her initials, the "MR" also stood for "Mildew-Resistant". She and dad had a great laugh over that one.

We were the lucky ones. Dad survived to come home, and later instilled in me his love of mechanical things - his ability to keep his old car running - his desire to find out what makes it work and to try to make it better in some way - and his love of country. Dad's parents were immigrants to this country, as were mom's - all in the first decade of the 1900s. They, my grandparents, always made us aware of just how exceptional this great country of ours really is, and how important it is to defend her, and to respect and revere those who were lost in her defense.

Let us all pause for a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and to thank those men and women who served.

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Marty, thanks for that story.

Dad servrd in Japan, after the bombs. I remember his homecoming. Middle of the night. We had no phone for him to call. He had to walk several miles from the bus station in Harrison,AR to our house.

I, too, learned my love of cars from him.

Miss You Dad and Mom. Thanks for all you did.

Ben A Bruce

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Great story Marty. So many people don't know what their relatives did during WWII or other wars for that matter. It is important to learn their stories so that we appreciate our freedome. I had three relatives in the Civil War who fought for the Union, one died in a Confederate POW camp. My grandfather was one of 7 brothers who enlisted in the Navy shortly after Dec. 7 also in the Seabees. He was stationed in Alaska. Father was involved in Vietnam, USMC UH-34 mechanic 1960-64. I served in the Navy from '89- '92 and was involved in the Persian Gulf War. A big thank you to all those who've gone before us!

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abh3usn,

You have a wonderful family history, with your father a Marine, and your grandfather and yourself having a distinguished Navy history THANK YOU !!

I mentioned on another thread, that my father had worked at the Todd Shipyards in Bayonne, New Jersey prior to the formation of the Seabees. This was considered a "safe" job, exempt from military draft. Many people were surprised when dad, married just over 1-1/2 years, and with a 3 month old son (me) volunteered for this new outfit called "CB" or Construction Battalion, identified as SeaBees. I've been told by several other Seabees that dad's unit, the 6th Special Battalion had especially nasty, dangerous assignments - I've listened to many of the Vets who come through the World War II Museum (formerly the D-Day Museum) here in New Orleans, and I encourage everyone to visit.

Many people today do not know that initially the Seabees were in harms way, and still unarmed; that sometimes their only protection was the blade of a Bulldozer.

Dad once in his later years said that the carnage he saw on Figi and Bougainville were beyond belief, that growing up In Plattsburgh, NY and later living in New York City and New Jersey, nothing he had ever experienced could prepare him for the cruelty of the Japanese soldiers.

My point is that he could have stayed safe at the shipyard, but CHOSE to put himself in the path of danger, as did you, your father and grandfather!

Thanks to you, and to all of our brave men and women who served, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Returning home from Viet Nam in 1966 I was called a women and baby killer and then spit on. This past week end a man stoped his car near my house jumped out seeing my Viet nam Veterans hat, put his arms awrond me and kissed my arm.

Funny how time slips away. Thanks Marty. !st Div. 2nd Bn. 28th Inf. BLACK LIONS.

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Great story Marty.

I spent most of my four years in the U.S. Air Force overseas and was always proud to serve my country.

As a gallery guide in the AACA museum, I meet a lot of veterans and we always chat about our experiences. I have now pinned my Air Force stripes pin onto my museum vest so they can spot me and know that we share a common bond of proud veterans.

Jim Aberts

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: windjamer</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Returning home from Viet Nam in 1966 I was called a women and baby killer and then spit on. This past week end a man stoped his car near my house jumped out seeing my Viet nam Veterans hat, put his arms awrond me and kissed my arm.

Funny how time slips away. Thanks Marty. !st Div. 2nd Bn. 28th Inf. BLACK LIONS. </div></div>

Thanks Marty, and Windjamer, and all Veterans.

In our small village's Memorial Day ceremonies, the master of ceremonies, who I believe is a WWII veteran, among his very moving remarks about the meaning of the day, made a special point of recognizing the especially tough circumstances faced by returning Viet Nam veterans, and thanking them especially for their great service to our country.

Thanks again United States Military Veterans for all you did and do for us.

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Dick,

When I came home after my trip to the sand, it was the Vietnam Vets who rolled out the red carpet for me and treated me like a king.

The Vietnam Vets made sure I didn't get the treatment that they got, and knowing how they were treated, I will forever be thankfull. They had every right to be bitter, they weren't, and I admire and respect those people very much.

SPeaking of Vietnam Vets, we have our own Peter Heizmann from this Forum, and let's not take a minute to reflect and remember our dear departed friend Ron Barnett.

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From time to time When I see a few men/women in uniform in a diner I'll pick up their tab, usually annomysly, as a thank you. It makes me feel good and I hope makes them do too......Bob

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bhigdog</div><div class="ubbcode-body">From time to time When I see a few men/women in uniform in a diner I'll pick up their tab, usually annomysly, as a thank you. It makes me feel good and I hope makes them do too......Bob</div></div>

That is soo cool of you. They deserve every break that they can get. They don't even know us and risk and lose their lives for us. We cannot do enough for the vets.

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Windjammer,

A few years ago, I got to meet and become friends with Dan Clark, one of the original contributors for the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.

I interviewed him and did an article on him, inwhich he described witnessing a Vietnam vet welcoming home a Desert Storm vet. In it, he described the experience, and I think that pretty much sums up how no one wants to let any vet feel unwelcome or unappreciated ever again:

www.danclarkspeak.com/pdf/Spokesman_November_2006.pdf

So from those like me just a little too young to go to Vietnam, thanks, my friend!

Joe

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">From time to time When I see a few men/women in uniform in a diner I'll pick up their tab, usually annomysly, as a thank you. It makes me feel good and I hope makes them do too</div></div>It does. The first time that happened to me, it tore me up. I still look at it as an issue of where I went over and did my job just like everyone else does, and at first it threw me off.

Now that I've retired from the Army, that problem went away. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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