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This picture so reminds me of one of my neighbors' dad.  I had met him a few times, but did not know him as anything but the neighbor's dad.  When he passed away a few years back I learned that he had earned a battlefield commission during WW2.  I still regret not learning this earlier...

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Similiar story, growing up in our neighborhood there were a bunch of families with kids. Us kids played together, fought each other, went to school together, and basically knew each other’s family somewhat. After high school everybody went their own way. Maybe 10-15 years ago I stopped by Ma’s house for a visit on my way home. While I was inside there was a knock on the door, and I answered it. It was Mr. Willet, he was still with us, though his wife had passed. He wanted to know if I had a moment, could I look at his garage lights which weren’t working. So I went over and fixed his lights (bad switch, no big deal). Afterwards we were talking (I’m real good at that, just ask Alb LOL), I asked him about one of the boxes I had seen in the garage. It looked like it was full of military stuff. Turns out Mr Willet was on the beach June 6, 1944. I wish I had the talent to get him to open up about his experiences. He talked about a couple of things and just wasn’t gonna talk about most of his time over there. He did tell me that he was born in Presque Isle Maine, and had never left the state before he went to boot camp. I don’t know what happened to him over there, what he experienced, but that day we talked was the day I knew I was talking to a hero. I realize that Mr. Willet did not change at all that day, but my opinion/perception of him certainly did. 

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I've met many a Veteran that couldn't/wouldn't talk about their experiences in the combat zones.

I respect them for what I can only imagine what they went through, and let it go at that.

I worked with guys that although they wouldn't/couldn't talk about it would drop to the floor whenever a loud noise would startle them. I could tell what was going through their minds by the look on their faces, while others would laugh at them.

It made me so mad I had to tell the laugh clowns to knock it off and respect them for what they had gone through.



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