Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served in the Pacific Theater of WWII as a gunner’s Mate on The USS J. Franklin Bell for the D-Day invasions of Saipan, Tinian, Leyte and Okinawa.
How are you #StillServing?
I am still serving by speaking to groups about the war in the Pacific. We hear little about, Peleliu, Tarawa, Tinian, etc. Yet we celebrate Normandy every year and the veterans that served during that invasion. That is great because they earned the recognition, but so have the millions of us who served in the Pacific where we were 5 times more likely to be killed than or counterparts in Europe; where the death of POWs was 40 percent higher than the deaths in Atlantic Theater.
I wrote a book called Forgotten Warriors where all the profits and more go to organizations like the VFW, AL, DAV, and St. Jude. I am almost 95 and still very active. I went back to Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa 2 years ago and have revised my book to include things about the local people. It is at the publishers and will be available soon.
It is not about profits that I am engaged in this campaign, it is to tell the world about me and my comrades who fought a different kind of enemy in the Pacific.
Why do you do it?
Because I am one of the few WWII veterans left that has the health and strength to speak and write about my experience in WWII. I have committed myself to this challenge for the rest of my life. I would appreciate any help the VFW can give. Thanks for asking me to share my #stillserving.