A Soldier Is Home…

In honor of Veteran’s Day, and in memory of Motor Man’s Dad, a World War II vet, today I’m sharing a post I originally published on May 6, 2013.  Back in 2013, I was blogging every day, and had no ideas for the following day’s post….until Pop began writing on that paper napkin.

Last night, as we often do on Sundays, Motor Man and I had dinner with his parents. Although we always offer to help with dishes, his parents prefer that we just visit and insist on doing the dishes after we leave.

Motor Man and I cleared the table and sat back down to chat. We noticed his dad had taken an ink pen from his pocket and was quietly writing on the corner of a napkin. Motor Man asked: “What are you figuring, Pop?”. His dad replied: “67 years ago, I left France.”.

(A little background information, some of which I may have shared before. Motor Man’s parents {Mom and Pop} were married on June 6, 1942. She was 15, he was 20.

mom pop wedding day 6-4-2007 8-22-52 PM

Two years later, in the months before Motor Man was born, Pop was drafted and sent to boot camp in Texas.

Once boot camp was over, en route to New York for the trip overseas, Pop managed a quick visit with his wife and two-day old son (Motor Man).

PeteandJR

On to New York, where Pop boarded the Queen Mary, being used as a troop ship, and sailed overseas to defend our country during World War II.)

Back to last night:

Pop is a man of few words, so I jumped at the opportunity to ask questions. I learned that it was May 6, 1946, when, after completing his service in World War II, Pop left France headed for home.

pop as soldier_Snapseed

Sketch of Pop, done by a fellow soldier during WWII

I took out my cell phone and began taking notes. Pop, who made the rank of Corporal, sailed from France on the “Wheaton Victory”, arriving in New York on May 15. (I researched and found that the Wheaton Victory was one of 550 Victory ships mass produced by six shipyards in the U.S. from February 1944 through November 1945.)

sswheatonvictory

SS Wheaton Victory (internet photo)

According to Pop, the soldiers were wearing their “OD’s” (olive drabs), and Ike jackets.  From New York, they went on to Ft. Meade, Maryland, where they were issued new uniforms.

Pop then caught a ride to Richmond, Virginia with another soldier, whose parents had come to meet him and take him home.  From Richmond, Pop took the bus to Newport News, arriving home late at night on May 19. His wife knew that he was due home soon, but had no idea exactly when to expect him. (I’ve often said I would love to have been a fly on the wall when she answered that knock on the door.)

It’s easy to understand why May 6 is a memorable date in Pop’s life; he was heading home.

home of the brave 5-5-2011 7-56-12

Thanks, Pop. Job well done.

We lost Pop on September 18, 2013, at the age of 91.  He was always proud to have served his country.

~These Days Of  Mine~

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9 responses to “A Soldier Is Home…

  1. Pop’s story and the story of many others from “The Greatest Generation” never gets old. It stirs me every time I read it. We owe a huge debt to them. May we never forget that or them.

  2. Thanks for sharing Pop’s story. What a great man he was.

  3. I’m glad you took the time to get the story and all the information from him. A young man fighting for his country and family. It’s family history that would have been lost. We need to pass down their stories and ours to the next generation. It wasn’t as easy back then. They didn’t have iPhones and computers! Both sets of my great grandparents came from Germany and didn’t like to talk about where they came from. They were proud Americans now. Their family history in Germany is lost.

  4. I do remember reading Pop’s story before but it is timeless and should be shared again and again. He was a member of our greatest generation and their stories should NEVER be forgotten. That sketch of him drawn by a fellow GI is priceless.

  5. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    A wonderful post for a very special person. They do not make many like POP anymore. We thank all the veterans for their great service. God bless.

  6. Lovely post of a brave man who served his country and loved his life……thanks for sharing the story again!

    Pam

  7. Always like reading this one another time …
    Pop’s memory was amazing; or should I say “memories”? – he had so many of them – from so many places with so many people.
    The sketch is him all the way !

  8. I enjoyed looking at the pictures. Thank you Pop’s for serving your country.

  9. The photos are wonderful. I enjoyed looking at the pictures of him both as a young man and as an older person.

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