Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Veteran's Day - My Family Gallery

This is my paternal grandfather William Shone Williams, Private US Army in World War One. He arrived here in the US from Wales in 1906 when he was about 3 years old. Here he is during basic training at Spartanburg in 1918. He was just in time for the last push and was wounded sometime after the action  at the tunnels of St. Quentin just parallel to the Hindenburg Line. He was a "stringer" which is the guy who runs the lines fro the communications they were using back then. He was wounded shortly after that, suffering a head wound requiring a metal plate which plagued him until his premature death at age 43. He was a New York City Police Officer at the time of his passing.

This is my maternal grandfather Pincus Max Marcus who arrived in America in 1911 and left to fight in the Allenby Brigade in Palestine on the Ottoman front in 1916, even before the Americans  officially joined the war in 1917. He served with Distinction in the Kings Fusiliers, 38th through 42nd Regiments and, along with his brother Jack, was awarded the French Medal of Legion with Palms. When the war was over he had to re-enter the United States through Canada via Scotland. He went on to make and lose several fortunes before his death in the 1970's. 

World War Two came and my father's brother,Uncle Roy, served in the Navy as a Machinist Mate. He was awarded a Navy Cross for action in the  North Atlantic. After the war he went on to become a Captain and commanded his own ship.

On my mother's side her brother Walter Marcus was training for the infantry in Alabama when the war came to an end. He was always very candid about being glad he didn't have to go. But he was ready. He went on to a career as a professional gambler and lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Here's my Dad who had already done time in the Naval Reserve, diving on the submarine USS Torsk out of Connecticut in the late 1940's. He felt very put upon when the Korean War broke out and he was called back up for active service in the Army! This explains the unhappy expression he wears in the photograph.

And here I am in the late 1970's, doing my bit taking bearings on the USS Milwaukee in Panama. You can tell that I was facing danger at every turn just by the expression on my face. 

The point is that, in war or peace, the veteran has always been there. Even when they may not have agreed with the policies with which they were tasked; they were there. And that willingness to serve, in itself, is a testament to our system.

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