Category Archives: War

Top Casualties

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The Atlanta Falcons football team surprised me losing to the New England Patriots in the super bowl. We witnessed one of the best comebacks in football history.  Maybe the lesson to be learned is we should never say a “patriot” will lose.

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Pearl Harbor-Few Words Needed

Pearl Harbor is not like any other museum experience.  One must prepare for this excursion.  I get up at 0530 in the morning in anticipation of getting free tickets.  Driving to Pearl from Waikiki is a half hour and I want to be sure to be there in time to stand in line to get tickets especially for my girlfriend who has never been.  Yes. FREE.  Tour guides ask for top dollar to take you to this site.  Tourism is high up as a way of making a living on the islands.  I think the price they ask is a bit high.  I was quoted $115/person.  I rented a car..

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Entering sacred waters toward the USS Arizona Memorial .  The ship is beneath the white structure  

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Memorial Day

My Dad Shot Down Over Germany In WWII. MAY WE NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICES!

My Dad Shot Down Over Germany In WWII. MAY WE NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICES!

Dear Mom and Dad,
How are you? We have been assigned for five combat flights with our B 17 Bomber plane and have completed three of them. I am very scared. I am writing this to tell you I love you, but I do not think I will come out alive. We are losing a lot of men after their planes are being shot down over Germany. I don’t think we will make it. When you are in the sky dropping bombs, the germans are right above us to see what we are up to and then below on the ground they are shooting anti-aircraft flak at us. We can’t see a damn thing from the black clouds the flak make. No one has our back. It is not a good thing. I hope one day to see you again, but if I do not I want you to know how much I love you.
Your son,
Roy
On Roy’s 4th combat flight as a gunner of a B-17 Bomber, he was shot down. Something in Roy told him that his days were numbered. Roy’s parents received the news he was missing in action by the Red Cross as was customary in those days. No one knew for sure what had happened except the 10 member crew on that fateful day in 1943. The Bomber was shot in several places, but with the handiwork of Coles, the pilot, the plane was able to be crashed landed in a field. The crew all survived and ran for their lives. All were captured alive.
Roy then spent the next 19 months in the notorious Stalag 17 camp. The Americans occupied five compounds. There were at least 4000 American GI men in the overcrowded barracks. Hollywood has made films about this camp and what our American soldiers had to endure. Roy recalls many times when they were forced to stand outside in extreme cold weather for long periods. He lost a huge amount of his body weight during this time, but did survive to come home and tell his story.
On April 8, 1945, Roy was among 4000 POW forced to march to where freedom was at hand. He with his fellow soldiers were finally liberated on May 9, 1945. General Patton’s Army had arrived on May 2nd to where they were closely located, but it took an additional week before Roy was finally free. Roy said he never prayed much before in his young life, but after being captured he prayed a lot. Roy still prays a lot. He can not believe he is still alive!

Berlin Wall

A portion of the Berlin Wall. Photo taken by Alesia in 1989

A portion of the Berlin Wall. Photo taken by Alesia in 1989

In 1989, I was living in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. This week in 1961 over a period of several days, the wall was first erected to keep freedom away from communist-controlled East Berlin. May we never forget this history. Nothing more dramatizes the fall of mankind than this wall. Nothing more causes one to pause than the taking down of that wall. Liberation can prevail. May other parts of the world that are in conflict learn from this wall.

Breakthrough

Valentine's Day Brings A Nice Surprise for me. I took this photo of two lovebirds in Victoria, Canada.

Valentine’s Day Brings A Nice Surprise for me. I took this photo of two lovebirds in Victoria, Canada.

Recently I began thinking of how much information should I share on my blogging? This blog began as a way of pouring out my story for family. As I learned how to share on WordPress, I than realized my life was resonating with others. Yesterday I shared about my disability from my brain tumor. In December I also wrote this blog post: (https://alesiablogs.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/are-you-homeless/). It is a poignant description of a visit to the Veteran’s Administration in Seattle, WA. To sum things up, my sister had helped me apply for disability through the military almost two years. I had all about given up on all this until today.
It is interesting how life takes twists and turns. We never know what may come our way. If you asked me 25 years ago that my life would have turned out the way it has, I would have said you are nuts. I was very self-sufficient and taught to be extremely independent. Yet, now I need help.
Today’s mail came dated on Valentine’s Day from the Department of Veteran’s Affair. I thought to myself could this be my “love” letter from them that began two years ago? Indeed it was. After serving in the military as active duty in Desert Storm overseas and then staying “available” for 15 years for call back, the military finally wrote me a “love” letter.
Here are the HIGHLIGHTS:
Dear Mrs. Alesiablogs (changed for you who know me by this name),
We made a decision (in my favor) on your claim for service connected compensation….This letter tells you about your entitlement amount and payment start date…Your Award Amount and Payment Start Date is shown below…………….
As you can see it was a good letter for me to receive. I do not feel happier from this though to be honest with you. Please do not take this in the wrong way. I am happy for the decision, but my life is so different due to my illness that it is a catch 22. I am learning a new way though. In fact as I received this letter I was on my way to a volunteer effort. Giving back and providing my time for a needed purpose is becoming part of my legacy. What is yours going to be? Did you know there are over 50,000 nonprofit organizations across the country? By volunteering, I am learning a new kind of happy.

The Letter

Roy in 1967 in another war- Vietnam.  He served our country for decades upon decades. He was a true American Hero.

Roy in 1967 in another war- Vietnam. He served our country for decades upon decades. He was a true American Hero.

Dear Mom and Dad,
How are you? We have been assigned for five combat flights with our B 17 Bomber plane and have completed three of them. I am very scared. I am writing this to tell you I love you, but I do not think I will come out alive. We are losing a lot of men after their planes are being shot down over Germany. I don’t think we will make it. When you are in the sky dropping bombs, the germans are right above us to see what we are up to and then below on the ground they are shooting anti-aircraft flak at us. We can’t see a damn thing from the black clouds the flak make. No one has our back. It is not a good thing. I hope one day to see you again, but if I do not I want you to know how much I love you.
Your son,
Roy

On Roy’s 4th combat flight as a gunner of a B-17 Bomber, he was shot down. Something in Roy told him that his days were numbered. Roy’s parents received the news he was missing in action by the Red Cross as was customary in those days. No one knew for sure what had happened except the 10 member crew on that fateful day in 1943. The Bomber was shot in several places, but with the handiwork of Coles, the pilot, the plane was able to be crashed landed in a field. The crew all survived and ran for their lives. All were captured alive.
Roy then spent the next 19 months in the notorious Stalag 17 camp. The Americans occupied five compounds. There were at least 4000 American GI men in the overcrowded barracks. Hollywood has made films about this camp and what our American soldiers had to endure. Roy recalls many times when they were forced to stand outside in extreme cold weather for long periods. He lost a huge amount of his body weight during this time, but did survive to come home and tell his story.
On April 8, 1945, Roy was among 4000 POW forced to march to where freedom was at hand. He with his fellow soldiers were finally liberated on May 9, 1945. General Patton’s Army had arrived on May 2nd to where they were closely located, but it took an additional week before Roy was finally free. Roy said he never prayed much before in his young life, but after being captured he prayed ALOT. Roy still prays alot. He can not believe he is still alive! Tomorrow is his 90th birthday. Why don’t you leave a comment on my blog and I will send it to him tomorrow with all your well wishes for his birthday. Roy has been married to my mother for 20 years when they both lost their respective spouses. If you ask Roy today what he thinks of Germans. He looks at my mother and smiles and says, “I love them. I married one.” My mother was born in 1939 in Berlin right in the middle of war. Roy knows his life was spared and he thanks God everyday as I do. When I call him and ask how he is doing, I always get the same answer which is, “I am better now that you have called.” It makes me smile every time.