Every Day is Veterans Day – Your Stories
We are honored to present these Veteran stories shared by the AMVETS National Service Foundation community.
Thanks for all you do to honor America’s Veterans!

Saluting the Service of America’s Veterans.

Here are stories people have shared about the Veterans in their lives.

“My Dad was always a gracious and courageous man every day of his life and I’m so proud to call him my Dad. He passed on some years ago but his patriotic spirit lives on in all of our hearts. May God bless all of our precious servicemen!” – Bonnie Spangenberg

Honoring: Charles P. Rochester

“My father is and will always be my hero. Dad served during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He taught us to be respectful and honorable, things I teach my children. I could never have asked for a better Daddy.” – Kathleen Hall

Honoring: Lloyd A Wegner

I lost my father at the very young age of seven and throughout my life, I have longed for a father figure in my life. Psychiatrists say that fathers are very important for a young girl’s development into a woman and the type of father she has will shape her future relationships with the men in her life. And the same with mothers and sons.

As I became a young woman, I found myself drawn to older men, not in a sexual way but in a way that mystified me because I didn’t understand it. But drawn I was; to my much older boss, my college professor, the next door neighbor. It wasn’t until I was much older and had gotten divorced from my first husband that I came to realize why I was so drawn to older men and what a true father was.

My ex father-in-law was the complete opposite of my real father; steady, reliable and dependable. Although I adored my real father, he simply was not equipped to be there for me as a child. And so after searching my whole life for a father figure, my ex father-in-law stepped in and became the father I had never really known.

Edward was a gruff Pole, who had a heart of gold and had been a cook in the Navy for over twenty years. After his stint in the navy, he worked at an auto salvage yard and hardly ever missed a day of work. Many were the nights we would have long conversations that lasted hours on the deck ranging from how the brain worked to his memory at the age of four of people being loaded onto trains by the Germans to the vastness of the solar system to the reality of Angels. We became very close.
He supported me and my decisions but never hesitated to tell me his opinion if he didn’t agree with something. He told me often what a good mother I was, how intelligent I was, how he admired how I carried myself. His compliments to many were few and far between so when he made one to me, I was extremely touched and proud and took it straight to my heart because I knew he meant it sincerely.
And I respected him because of the man he was. He was there for his family and made sure they were taken care of. And I began to love and adore this old man and to think of him as as my father and he often told me that he loved me and that I was his daughter. Every morning I would stop by before work and have coffee with him before we started our day and it seems that we never ran out of things to talk about. I often asked his opinion on many things and he would give it honestly and sincerely. And I always followed his advice.

And so, my search for a father came to an end and I had the father in my life I had always longed for…for six years until a massive heart attack took his life. And I lost a father once again, only this time, I felt as though I would die from the grief. I had lost the only real father I had ever known and it was an unbearable loss for me. It took years to get over and I still miss his presence in my life profoundly. I like to think that Edward watches over me and that comforts me and governs my behavior to a great degree.

I raised both my sons without their father’s presence in their lives and while it causes me sadness I cannot begin to describe, somehow I feel when the time is right, Edward will send someone to be a father figure to both my sons and hopefully it will be a wonderful man just like he was.

Because what I’ve learned is it is never too late to find a father and it’s never too late to be a father. And as a therapist once told me, “If you can’t live with the family you have, then you make your own family.”

I Love You, Edward…Thank you for being my father and allowing me to be your daughter.
You couldn’t have given me a greater gift…

Submitted By: LizaBella Stephenson

Honoring: Edward Chawalek

“In 2012 I came to AMVETS in LA, Ca. Office to help me increase my Service Connected disabilty benefits for PTSD suffered from my service in 1968 Vietnam War. John in that office helped me gain a 100% disabled rating. Without this VA benefit I would not be able to survive in my home as a 70 year old Senior Citizen today. I’m forever grateful to AMVETS for this. TR” – Timothy Ross

“I would like to thank my son for severing. He is my son and my hero” – Carlos Contreras

Honoring: Carlos F Contreras

“Uncle Tom Manjak was my dad’s youngest brother and big brother that I never had. A veteran of WW II and Korea he flew 188 combat missions in P47s and P51s over Germany and Korea and reached his 100th mission before his 21st birthday. His final mission ended with being struck by enemy ground fire and crashing on a mountainside in N.Korea. He was choppered out and went on to retire as a Lt.Col.AS an unmotivated 17 year old he was instrumental in my joining the Air Force obtaining an education that prepared me for a successful career in civilian life.” – William Manjak

Honoring: Thomas Manjak

“My former boss John walks on water by every measure. He served in Viet Nam beginning right out of high school. He retired a few months ago and we all miss him every day. We LOVE you, JC!”

Honoring: John Conrado

“My father harry shiffrin was an mp (military policeman) in the korean war from 1950-53. He then was honorably discharged from the army. Although i personally don’t believe in war and will never, ever do so i still think it honorable that my father served our country and answered the call of duty when needed!!!” – Joyce Shiffrin

Honoring: Harry Shiffrin

“My Grandfather fought in WWI, my father in WWII, my brother in Desert Storm. They all did so out of patriotism and a sense of duty.” – Douglas Myers

Honoring: George W. Truesdell, Richard H. Myers, Dennis E. Myers

“Dennis’s was a roommate of mine. His tour we believe in Viet Nam left some HAUNTING SCARES! Finally after 4 plus years of nudging him! He voluntarily submitted his application to VA private housing group & got into a local facility. We all at house are hopeful more vets will embrace these facilities for assistance.” – Franklin Snyder

Honoring: Dennis Daily

“I am retired NSO (AMVETS). Still helping veterans with their claims.” – Robert Fielder

Honoring: All Veterans

“My Dad was WW II vet lived a life of service ran a credit union at his work and was a founding member of AMVETS Post 219” – Joe Dabkowski

Honoring: Ted Dabkowski 518th AAA

“My mother was in Australia as a member of General McArthur’s staff. That was where she met my father, Sgt David V Green. They served until the war ended and then came home to Philadelphia to make a home.” – Ken Green

Honoring: Margaret E Green-Witt (nee-Ashmead)

“My father fought in WWII and he is still proud of his time in the Army. Many of these brave people have lived very productive lives, both in and outside of the military. I am most proud of my father, who will be 94 years old in December 2017, for the great way me and my siblings were raised. My parents are still together (60+ years) and this is one of the great traits that being in the US Army, instilled in my father, ‘Never quit, never give up, for there will be brighter days, ahead.'” – Monica Fly

Honoring: Paul Fly

“My Dad was a Pearl Harbor Survivor. Served six years in the Navy” – John Calabrese

Honoring: John C Calabrese

“My dad has since passed, I lost him to Lung cancer when I was just 10, but he remains a strong force in my life. He fought in world war II for his country, and came back to my mom & married her. He was a big loud outgoing, man, strong loving kind the father of 6 children, who made baby shoees to support all of us.!! Happy Veterans Day Dad and all the other men & woman.! I Love you always” – Paula Decamp

Honoring: My dad Pasquale Anzalone world war2.!

“Once a marine always a marine. I was made in Japan while my dad was stationed there. I was born on camp Pendleton. My dad is always honorable, loving but frim, trustworthy.” – Rosemary Jennings

Honoring: Eugene Francis Copper

“My father Curtis Beidelschies was called up to serve in August 1944. I was not 3 years old yet but he was sent to Ft. McClellan Ala. for infantry training . He went to Europe in Jan. 1945 until the war ended. He was in the 35th Inf. Div.” – Edward Beidelschies

Honoring: Curtis Beidelschies

“My dad was a three-war vet. He served on the U.S.S. Princeton during WWII. The Princeton fought in every major battle in the Pacific front before she was sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. Dad earned the Purple Heart and tried valiantly to save fellow shipmates. Dad kept this experience to himself until the later years of his life. He was a proud man who always remembered his shipmates. Dad passed away January1, 2016. We are proud of his many years of service.” – Shawn Gilbert

Honoring: Henry Roland Bellavance

“When I started college I got a job at the Gulfport Veterans Administration under the college work-study program. Nearly every time I walked down the hall I would run into an older man, presumably a vet, who was at the time maybe 85 years old. I think maybe that I reminded him of some of his World War II Buddies, as every time he saw me he would scramble to me as quickly as he was able, sometimes putting an arm around me, sometimes just holding my hand and he would tell me of his fellow servicemen who had died in combat during World War II, and weep while doing so. It was the only subject he ever discussed with me. The VA Hospital in Gulfport is the mental hospital for the VA. While I ran into a good number of “head injury” cases while I was there, he rapidly became my favorite. I never saw him with anyone else and that’s why I think I reminded him of someone he once knew. I think of him often. He was in one respect a kind of a pitiful old guy, but on the other hand his loyalty to and remembrance of his friends was very touching. The tears still run down my face whenever i think of him … my short relationship with him being 35 years ago notwithstanding.” – Wayne Byerly

“I am a Vet and a life member of Amvets. My comment is a question Why didn’t we stand for Vets on Veterans Day and instead play nice to the NFL?” – Robert D Morrill

“My dad, Jack, is still with us and doing very well, thankfully…at 90 years old! He is one of the last surviving WWII vets. He enlisted at 17 years old and is a plank holder for the diesel boat, USS Carp. He served in the South Pacific.” – Karen Jackson

Honoring: John L. Peddicord

Michael Mickey Ganitch, born 11/18/1919 in Mogadore, Ohio. Mickey moved to California in 1939, and then joined the US Navy 1/21/1941. Went to Boot Camp and QM/Signalman School at San Diego, CA. Joined the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) at Pearl Harbor on August 15, 1941. I was a member of the ship’s football team. Our ship was due to play the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941, at 1:00pm, for the fleet championship. Since my ship was in dry dock for repairs, we had to don our football uniforms before leaving the ship at 8:00am for a practice scrimmage. At 7:55am, when the first air attack by the Japanese commenced, “General Quarters” sounded throughout the ship. Hearing the alarm, you report for your battle station immediately – in whatever you are wearing. As my battle station was in the crow’s nest of the main mast, I reported there in my football uniform, minus cleats and helmet. The shoulder pads made it difficult to get through the trapdoor. One 500-lb bomb hit our ship during the second air attack. Our ship was used as fire support for all major invasions of the North Pacific Ocean except for Okinawa and Iwo Jima. At that time we were stateside being outfitted with new guns. August 6th and 9th of 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. August 12, 1945, the USS Pennsylvania was hit by a torpedo at Okinawa. The torpedo struck in the rear of the ship by the propellers, which is the living compartment of the quartermasters. From my crew of 26, I lost 20 of my 26 quartermasters that day. (The next day the Japanese sued for peace). The ship was used for the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. I returned to the ship after each of the tests, as I was in charge of the animals that had been placed on the ship for observations of effects upon animals. Reenlisted in 1947. Served aboard the USS Mount Katmai (ammunition ship) from 1948 until 1954. Last part of service was recruiting duty in Oakland, CA from 1960 until October 10, 1963 when I retired from the Navy. Retired as Senior Chief Quartermaster.

1963 to 1966: worked in a bowling establishment. 1966 to 1986: worked for a fishing net manufacturer in East Oakland. 1986 to 1991: worked at various jobs 1991 to 1996, worked as Security Guard at NAS, Alameda.

Currently serving as: The Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Past State Treasurer, Past Chapter Secretary, and Editor of the monthly newsletter for PHSA Chapter No. 2, of the San Francisco Bay Area. Chaplain for: Fleet Reserve Assoc.; VFW; American Legion; and my Masonic Lodge. Adjutant/Treasurer for Disabled American Veterans. Honor Guard for VFW. Life member and Charter member of AMVERTS Hayward Post 911 in Hayward, California. Presently VA Volunteer driver, and other duties, (Over 7,000 volunteer hours) for the VA.) 49 years active in my church (Methodist) as head usher. Married 51 years to my wife, Barbara. 4 daughters; 13 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren and 8 great-greats.” – Michael Emerson

Honoring: Mickey Ganitch

“My combat decorated WWII uncle brought me into AMVETS. He taught me and others that “the word satisfied must never exist in the vernacular of Veterans” – Francisco Juarez

Honoring: William Stanley Ruiz

“Troy is my youngest son. He served in the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, NC. I am very proud of Troy and so glad he followed in my footsteps and joined the Army.” – Judi Harrison

Honoring: Troy Harrison

“I met him in 1978; he was the partner of my female friend. He’d done two tours in Viet Nam; still has medical and psychological scars. He’ll call and it’ll light up the whole day–or week. Still with my friend, but now he’s become a better friend. Love him dearly; he recently had some bad medical stuff, but is doing well.” – Elizabeth

Honoring: Ron

“I am honoring my Father and Grandfather. Without them I would never have joined the military myself or joined the Marine Corps.” – Kim Starlin

Honoring: Maj. Lewis Stevens, E-5 Claude Fred Starling

“I spent 30 years in the USAF from 1959-1989 and served in Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and as part of the Royal Air Force as a a Air Policeman, Security Policeman, Minuteman Missile Launch Officer and Professor of Aerospace Studies at Kent State University and ended up as the Chief of Security Police at Air Training Command. After retirement, I’ve spent the last 19 years in Sacramento California.” – Nicholas A. Keck

“A full Bird Colonel served in Vietnam As Norman Schwarzkopf artillery commander. Two tours. He has lots of stories. He is my hero. Retired. One of the greatest military person I know.” – Calvin Gotts

Honoring: Raymond Hawthorne

“Both of these Veterans are my parents. My Dad was in the U. S. Navy and my Mom was in the U. S. Coast Guard during WWII. They have since passed. I am a 22-year retired U. S. Navy Veteran. I went into the Navy in 1973 right after high school, I suppose, to follow in my father’s footsteps. I did not realize I would make it a career and retire in 1995.” – Leo Lessard

Honoring: Leo E. Lessard and Sylvia D. Lessard (Nathan)

“My mother had five children who joined the service and that made her a five star mother. We shared her values and love for America. Walter was in the Army and is a Vietnam Veteran, George was Navy and on a carrier off Vietnam, I was Navy and was a Vietnam Era Veteran, my sister Heather was Army and my brother Perry was Navy and also served on a carrier. God Bless Our Veterans, our sisters and brothers.” – Katherine Andrews

Honoring: Walter Harkness, George Harkness, Heather Olson Coats, Perry Olson and myself

“I had to go judge said so I went in the Navy at 15 and half years old my grandma signed my papers.” – Robert Barber

Honoring: Robert Barber

“My Father served during WWII and Korea, he was my inspiration to enlist and make the Military a career.” – Patrick Doyle

Honoring: Joseph P. Doyle

“When I was a child, the Vietnam war was being fought. We had great neighbors and I knew the daughter as we were the same age. One day I was told her brother, Buddy had been killed in the war and I remember the sadness in the mom ever after. I have never forgotten that and have great respect for ALL veterans.” – Susan O’Rourke

Honoring: Buddy Richter

“My grandfather was a country doctor. When the birth certificate was signed they put the wrong date.When he enlisted, in the Air Force, they discovered the mistake. From that point on he had 2 celebrations cake, ice cream whole celebration happened twice June 8 and 9. Loved it as a kid, 2 different cakes.” – Molly Walker

Honoring: William Henry Walker

“I am an Army vet. My dad and two uncles served during WWII. We are of Palestinian heritage, but Americans first.” – Ed Rukab

Honoring: Moses, Abraham, Lutfi Rukab

“U.S. Army, drafted in 1958,till 1960” – Joseph Fleischmann

“Served with the 92nd Bombartment Wing, Heavy, 15th Air Force, SAC, USAF from 1957-1960.” – Daniel P Ernst

“I served with Andy in the 13th bomb squadron in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. He was a pilot and I was his navigator in B 57’s. He was killed in May 1965 in a massive explosion and I was seriously wounded. Without investigation of probable enemy action (or cover-up) it was declared an accident.
He was a great person and family man. He left his widow, Marion and a young son and daughter.” –

“My dad inspired me to join the Navy. He was a WWII veteran and talked about his time in. I wanted to follow in his footsteps as my other siblings wouldn’t. Miss him terribly to this day.” – Kim Gibson

Honoring: Frank Novak, LtCol, Army Ret.

“I served with Andy in the 13th bomb squadron in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. He was a pilot and I was his navigator in B 57’s. He was killed in May 1965 in a massive explosion and I was seriously wounded. Without investigation of probable enemy action (or cover-up) it was declared an accident.
He was a great person and family man. He left his widow, Marion and a young son and daughter.” – Barry Knowles

Honoring: Captain Andy Kea

“My father fought in the Korean War and he’s my hero. He was a tough man and left as a Sergeant. But he was always so proud of his service and I loved when he would tell us stories of that time. I miss him. He passed in 2006.” – Tammy Evans

Honoring: William E Duffy

“My daughter served in the Air Force 6 years during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom war conflicts. She was deployed to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Afghanistan during her military time. Our family is very proud of her.” – Carol Messina

Honoring: Lauren Seiferheld-Belton

“Our son is our Hero ! Bryan Patrick Lysaght served and protected The USA for 5 years in the ARMY as a Sniper and did a tour in IRAQ and never once complained or said a word about the 105 degree hot days in the IRAQ Sun on rooftops caring 100 pounds of equipment and eating rations !!! looking for the bad folks !
Bryan led by example and always looked forward to returning from a mission where his sniper group would be gone from 3 days to 3 weeks and the 1st thing Bryan did was to reach out to his mother to say we made it back to base as a team and we are safe ! Then BRYAN would check on his OSU BUCKEYES !!!

Bryan came Home safe and sound married the love of his life Ninella and gave his mother and I a granddaughter and grandson and got his Masters Degree and serves the public at The Social Security Administration ! Every single day Bryan supports, mentors, all his fellow soldiers and Veterans !

Our son Bryan inspires me every single day and I know our country is safer and better because of our son !

All my love, respect, admiration, to our son Bryan and thank you for your SERVICE ! USA and GO BUCKS
From your father and dad !” – Gerald R Lysaght

Honoring: Retired Sargent Bryan Patrick Lysaght

“Weldon served in the merchant Marines during World War II on the same ship at the same time with his father and and his brother. Honorable discharged with US Coast Guard after serving in three war zones . A man whom I’m privileged and honored to call my father-n-law.” – Jeff Jacobs

Honoring: Weldon Stone

“My son Scott returned from a faithful service in the marines, serving his country in Afghanistan. Now home as a disabled veteran trying to put the pieces back together. I’m very proud of my son for contributing his life for our country but at the same time angry for what has happened to his life.” – Deb Crowell

Honoring: Scott Crowell

“My uncle was a real patriot. He served during ww1 and when wwII broke out he tried to reenlist but the army said no so he went to the navy and served as a Navy gunner on a liberty ship. His ship was sunk as were so many liberty ships but survived the north Atlantic with severe arthritis as a result but lived to be a very old man who would stand up for our flag and anthem thus giving others the right to denigrate this wonderful country, so sad…..” – Arthur Feather

Honoring: Frank J Campbell

“At age 16, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior which changed his life.

Norm would become a highly decorated veteran, serving in the 47th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division. He took part in the invasion of Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy and fought in the Hurtgen Forest and stood strong during the fights of Battle of the Bulge. Norman’s unit also was part of the taking of the famous Remagen Bridge. He was also active in the Army Reserves Unit 402nd Civil Affairs, where he eventually became its commanding Officer. He went to Camp Fort Devens every summer and would get free baseball tickets from Joe Cronin, whom his father Norman F. Sr managed in AAA ball previously for the Johnston Johnnies, who won the championships back in in 1926. He also managed Ripper Collins, Eddie Montaigue, and probably others that became famous. When he was catching for the Red Sox, he discovered Waite Hoyt, a future Hall of Famer. At age 16, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior which changed his life

He was written about in the Buffalo News when he and his unit captured about 100 Germans in North Africa. He didn’t talk much about the battles he fought, except to say that he didn’t like General Patton as he slapped a man in his unit. He also saw Patton retreat very quickly after a German round came very close to his jeep. This was strange to the men, as Patton always prided himself as a brave soldier.” – Paul McNeil

Honoring: Major Norman McNeil

“To my husband, my father, and my uncle – you are more inspiring to me than you know and I love you all very much! Happy Veteran’s Day!” – Brenda Lutton-Coronado

Honoring: Rocky Coronado, John Lutton, & Mike Lutton

“My husband Geoffery over the last 25 years have served with honor dedication an selfless service. He has not just served the military, but has been a hero to his children and to me his wife, when most have come back from combat wounded mentally and physically by the grace of God he has come back even better and more appreciative for Life in general. He is our hero in our home, community and in the church.
Happy Veterans Day Honey SGM (Ret) Geoffery Jackson America’s Hero.” – Tracey Jackson

Honoring: SGM Geoffery Jackson

“My dad was a true American Hero. The attached picture was taken by the Signal Corps. He was in a fox hole in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He was with the 101st Airborne division. He taught us about the American Dream.” – Emma Klimek

Honoring: Carmelo Guglielmino

“To my beloved Steve Tanner who served in Vietnam who sacrificed everything to protect our country I thank you for your service” – Stephen Tanner

Honoring: Stephen John Tanner

“Ed was my crew chief in the reserves flying in the h-3 helo. In a book by thomas l. Walsh
The damnyankee is his real story !!!! A ww11 story of tragedy & survival off the west of Ireland… May he rest in peace..” – Kenneth Gerken

Honoring: Ed Vigeant

“My brother, Ted Boldt, was 10 yr. older than me. I looked up to him as a child and loved him dearly as an adult. When he joined the Army, I was so proud of him. After Basic Training, he was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY, 101st Airborne. He earned his Master Marksman and Master Jumper medals. When he was honorably discharged, he was a Master Sergeant.I still remember his Dog Tag numbers: 22976264. He passed away a few years ago. But my love and pride for his accomplishments will remain with me as long as I live.” – Patricia Chang

Honoring: Ernest T. Boldt

“It was Dad who inspired me to join and serve in the USAF” – George Gesner

Honoring: Jack E Gesner

“My father Robert W.Tucker, Served at the Chosin Reservoir with the 1st Marine Div. suffered shrapnel wounds to his leg and received the purple heart for his injuries. He suffered with frost bite from the 40 degree below zero combat all over that frozen winter in the Korean War and also suffered from cronick and severe Ptsd all his years after comming home from the FORGOTTEN WAR !! May God rest your Sergeant !! REST IN PEACE ! Love your only son SSG Robert W. Tucker,Jr US ARMY MILITARY POLICE CORPS. Desert Sheild, Desert Storm, and the Liberation of Kuwait !!” – Robert W. Tucker,Jr

Honoring: Sgt Robert W.Tucker,Sr.

“My dad is my hero. He has served our country his entire life in the military and then the police department. So proud of him!!!” – Patricia Bocanegra

Honoring: Wayne Morgan

“he was one of the greatest men I have ever known he was us navy through and through 35 years in ww2 and all wars that followed I loved him then and still do even though he is in heaven I was privileged to serve one year with him wish I could tell him now how much I loved him yep he was my father” – Richard Crook

Honoring: Hubert Crook

“I’d like to start off this week by saying some words of true and honest gratitude and of thanks for not only serving this great wonderful and mighty country of ours but I would to say how much I truly and honestly appreciate his pride and compassion for this country and his willingness to stand up whenever he is needed for battle and for war and how awesome I truly and honorably think and feel he rightfully is and he married a smart beautiful talented young lady whose my baby sister whom wrote a whole program on PTSD for the Veteran SOLIDER’S whenever they arrive back home from a long tour of over seas duty and she is the best one and only DARNEST PHSYCOLLIGISTS in the Over Land Park area and she truly and rightfully cares for all of her patients she see’s on an every day to day bases and Matt is a sweet charming honest great compassionate guy and SOLIDER and he took a grenade as SOLIDER and he lost some what of his hearing while being stationed over in AFAGHANISTAND over in the middle east so all of patriotic Americans could sleep freely and in peace through the night and there’s not a better more honorable SOLIDER that I’d rather have within my very immediate family Than Matthew Manning and I think he deserves to be called a National U.S. Hero and everything because that is what he truly and Rightfully is in all aspects.

So Matthew Manning I am here standing proudly today saying I salute you on this very Veteran’s Day and your honor and service will not go un noticed by anyone or any body with you being a U.S. ARMY National Guard I am proud to have you as my brother in law.
God Bless my family and May God Bless America
Your Sister in law” – Rachel Vroom

Honoring: Matthew Manning

“Dennis was a Vietnam era vet. He was funny, kind, and one of my favorite people. He and I both served in the Army. He passed away in 2014 at the VA hospital in Loma Linda, Ca.” – Carol Graffice

Honoring: Dennis Graffice

“My husband was serving in the Korean War when we married. Although he did not go overseas he did a very important job here in the states.
He was a cadre helping train the new recruits. Believe me he didn’t get much sleep in those day as you well know but, it was better than having bullets coming his way.
His feelings after he left the military was the federal government didn’t give those men anything.” – Angelina Rawa

Honoring: John Rawa Jr.

“When I arrived at Fort Meade MD to start my permanent party location in July, 1971 Lt. Buffington was the officer in charge of the Registrar’s Office at Kimbrough Army Hospital. He made it possible for me to work at a job that I enjoyed there for the next 17 months until my service obligation was completed. I want to salute you for that opportunity ‘Lt. B.'” – Dean Boyce

Honoring: Edwin Buffington

“I am a veteran myself , but I would like to honor my late grandfather and my dad’s two uncles for their service to our country.” – Marie Mercado

Honoring: Grandpa

“The veterans that I’m speaking of was my father he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was one of only three men who survived from his company! He and two other guys that were left from his company we’re left holding hands and praying until their support came through which was almost too late!” – Danny Galiszewski

Honoring: Thaddeus Galiszewski

“It is Veterans’ Day again … and I am a veteran … a Nam combat veteran … with PTSD … and I don’t feel good about it at all, much less honored. The PR ‘happy talk’ that will abound today is about of the same value as the mythology of ‘we support the troops.’ This country continues to send young men off to fight and die all over the damned world (while paying them so little that many have to use food stamps)? For what? To make the weapons companies ever more rich? To allow the old men in government to puff themselves up by symbolically ‘pissing on the bushes?’ To maintain the myth that it is making us safe?

And while the VA budget gets cut every year as their caseload grows ever greater, the country continues to do nothing about the staggering rate of veteran joblessness and veteran homelessness and veteran suicide.

‘Support the troops,’ my ass. Salute the flag on Veterans’ Day. Hell no!” – Michael Barnhorst

“My husband died in Vietnam on 9-19-1968. He was on his second hitch, had served in the 82nd Airborne and went to Dominican Republic on his first hitch. Then we were stationed in northern Ohio at missile bases, then he got orders for Vietnam. Next September it will be 50 years, but it still feels like yesterday. His name is on the Wall on Panel 43W, Line 43, the first name on the line. God bless all the veterans who were there with him when I couldn’t be!” – Karen Walker-Sparks

Honoring: Richard L. Sparks

“I would like to honor my father this Veterans Day. He served as a pilot in WWII, flying from Burma over the Himalayas to Japan. When he returned to Illinois, he worked as an undertaker, funeral director, and County Coroner in our small town of Petersburg. He served humanity throughout his life.” – Carolyn Wade

Honoring: Edward Jay Hurley

“The veteran I’m honoring is my father. He was the hardest working person I know. He was in the US Marines. I lost my father on October 27th 2015, he was 94 yrs old.” – Jan Fortini

Honoring: Thomas Joseph Fortini

“Under enemy fire from a ridge line above Cobb stopped a Jeep and he & the Jeep passenger picked me up out of a ditch where I had been thrown and I was rushed to a MASH Unit in the next town South of the Chosin Reservior in later November 1950. Recovered in a Naval Hospital in Japan for the next 5 and one half months.” – Robert Chester

Honoring: Jack R. Cobb

“Sargent 1st class,retired due to contracting cancer & hearing loss contracted while duty in afganistan, while saving his men {recieved bronze star & multiple awards crossing into airforce! highly reguarded many awards & comidations. Most humble human i know, always looking out for others before himself , although last tour did change him:{ sorry bout the spelling. Don’t know if he would want me to go into to much detail. He is the epitome of a IOWA Soldier/Human. GOD BLESS.” – John Topliff

Honoring: Richard Morgan

“My father lied about his age (17) to enlist in the Navy in the Korean War. He was stationed on a hospital ship. Suffice it to say that he saw a lot of blood and suffering, but he didn’t talk much about that. The reason I am so proud of him is his vehement intolerance of racism. He was white and couldn’t stomach the racism that he now saw existed in America. In 1963 there was a cross burned in our neighborhood. He had tears in his eyes.” – Patricia Heckart

Honoring: Arthur Lee Heckart

“He is no longer with us, but he was the inspiration for me becoming a vet myself. He was a true hero during the 2nd World War. Established and tested the paratroop companies that exist today. A real man.” – Chris VanDeventer

Honoring: Gerald R. Cox

“EQCM PAUL C BAILEY – born 1942-died 2009. Navy Construction Battalion (SeaBees). Three tours in Vietnam Nam; three Purple Hearts; 33 years of Naval service. Best friend, husband, father, all round fantastic individual. God Bless and RIP.” – Jean Bailey

Honoring: Paul Collier Bailey

“I am the granddaughter, daughter and sister to Veterans of the United States Army.
My family all rest in Arlington Cemetery, a home where I feel the sacrifice of thousands
of brave souls and their families each day. My gratefulness and pride are unmeasurable.
Thank you all for your service.” – Joni Cromwell Kegelmeyer

Honoring: Lt. Col. William E. Duffy: Col. Raymond B. Cromwell; PFC William R. Cromwell

“My Dad, Harold L. Rockwell, who passed away on 08/27/17, was a WWII Veteran serving as an Army MP. He saw duty on D-Day (shielding a superior officer during landing), The Battle of the Bulge (where he was accidentally abandoned for 24 hours during retreat maneuvers and never left his post), and served security duties during the Potsdam Conference. That’s him in the lower left of the photo, (I believe that is General Eisenhower descending the steps). He truly served his country well…” – Dana Rockwell

Honoring: Harold L. Rockwell

“All veterans have significantly impacted my life. I would not be able or afforded to live my life in the manner of which I do if vertersns did not answer the call of duty. I have immense respect and gratitude for each and every veteran. No matter how great or small their mission was, it allowed my freedoms to be upheld. I thank every SINGLE ONE of these brave soldiers for the life they gave to ensure mine” – Andrea Flanagan

My Dad. Stationed in Douglas, Arizona – Douglas Army Airfield, Douglas, Arizona
AAF Advanced Flying School, Two-Engine, also, Two-Engine Transition
310th Two-Engine Flying Training Group
Opened: August 1942, Closed: November 1945 (AT-9, AT-17, UC-78, AT-24)[4]

“The wing directed Training Command Flight Schools in Arizona. Most of the assigned schools provided phase II basic and phase II advanced flying training for Air Cadets, although, the wing also commanded both contract basic (phase I) and Army schools. Graduates of the advanced schools were commissioned as Second Lieutenants, received their “wings” and were reassigned to Operational or Replacement Training Units operated by one of the four numbered air forces in the zone of interior.

Aircraft carried fuselage code: “A”;[5] Became exclusive B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder two-engine transition school October 1944, closed November 1945″ (Wikipedia).

Taught members of the Chinese Army to fly B-25’s, so that they could go home and help defeat the Japanese (who had already invaded their country) there.

Gloria J Howard


“Don was the prototype for an american hero. He was always first to stand up for his flag and his country. His motto was “With malice toward none and charity to all”. He lived an exemplary life. He passed in 2010 and is sorely missed.” – Michael Barney

Honoring: Don Petron

“Arthur Haan was my Dad, he is deceased now, but he was my hero and I️ miss him very much. He was a Prisoner of War in WW11, and endured a lot at a very young age, for many years he would not talk about it, but it was horrific and he received a Purple Heart. We have his uniform and medals which we will never lose. He was a good man and loved his family.” – Virginia Haan

Honoring: Arthur G. Haan

“I take this opportunity to thank WWII Navy veteran John “Jack” Patrick Reardon for his service. Regrettably, our father is no longer with us as he completed his “tour of duty” and is no longer “on watch”. He emphasized how lucky we were to born Americans, and stressed the importance of patriotism and love of country. He worked hard his entire life working multiple jobs to provide for his wife and six children. He, and all other veterans are the reason I entered military service myself as their selfless service inspired me.” – Kevin Reardon

Honoring: John Patrick Reardon

“Hardened by life and driven to be the best a demanding life as a US Marine was his choice. From the battlefields of Guadalcanal to the peak of Suribache ending on the frozen tundra of Korea. My hero my mentor and my friend. My grandfather was and still is my motivation in life. Following in his legacy and committing my own life to our Beloved Corps. Semper Fi and thank you for your guidance” – Ssgt Dion Dorado

Honoring: Tsgt Robert Enas

“Capt. Walter A. Reeves is the only living one of 3 Marines that helped save my life by pulling my crushed body out of a burning vehicle on the night 12 November 1969. He and I reconnected 3 years ago this Thanksgiving through a very tearful phone call, as he did not know that I had lived. Capt. Walter A. Reeves was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism. The other 2 Marines that helped save my life but are now deceased are Capt. Delbert M. Hudson, and Capt. Walter R. Hampton. They also received the same award.

I was in the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, for a year following the accident and have now been through almost 6 dozen surgeries for a massive amount of bodily damage ranging from 3rd degree burns, spinal damage and innumerable fractures, and was susequently retired from the Marine Corps following 3 years on the TDRL.” – Jay Setchell Sgt. USMC Ret.

Honoring: Walter A. Reeves

“My dad served during World War II, He was drafted June 1943 when I was 6 months old. He was in the Army and served in Europe during WWII. He was released from the army in 1946 attaining the rank of Sergeant and earning the Bronze Star. He was very involved in the Fish Creek VFW working very hard to promote our Country.” – Janice Hanson

Honoring: Gardner Arthur Orsted Jr.

“My dad, Edwin H Friend, Sr., was the most powerful influence in my life. Hearing his exploits and history of the Great War as a pilot during World War II triggered a lifelong love of WWII, European and Civil War histories. It broadened my perspective of him and my world because of his innate fearlessness to do and try it all. I followed him around memorizing all he did which trained me to follow those same innate instincts in me to not only rebuild old cars but old houses. I only found out recently that he was a courier for secret intelligence operations with his cover being a troop and supply transport pilot. He evacuated many from the Philippines one of who was my future Uncle-in-Law, Charles Folsom! Thanks, Dad and Uncle Charles for your service and to all my other friends and family who served! Happy Veterans Day! Let’s take better care of them!” – Donna Friend

Honoring: Edwin H. Friend, Sr.

“He is a very responsible young man and I am very proud to claim him as my son and veteran. He is also an outstanding young man in his community and an Am-Vet lifetime member of post 08 southwest Iowa. I don’t have picture which is able to post at this time. I am the commander of post 08.” – Jeffrey A. McNeal

Honoring: A. L. “Mac” McNeal

“Spent 21 years as a US Navy SEAL and currently serving as State Senator in Ohio’s 30th District. A man who will continue to Lead From The Front! So proud of my husband for continuing to serve! God Bless our men and women in uniform!” – Darla Hoagland

Honoring: Senior Chief Navy SEAL (ret.) Frank Hoagland

“She is my mommy and my hero! I cant wait until she retires in February next year!” – Makyla Jones

Honoring: Dena Jones

“My husband served WWII, U.S. Nassau. He was at the armistice, Japan, Hawaii. He was proud to serve. I was proud of him and all he fought for. Bless all of you.” – Bonnie Dawn

Honoring: Paul E. Dawn

“Daddy served from 1943 to 1945 in W.W.II He fought in four campaigns, one being ” THE BULGE.” He was one of only a few of the 2,500 that went in with him. He received several medals one being the Soldier’s Medal. He is my hero. Love you!” – Morris Henson

Honoring: Alexander N. Henson

“My father is my hero,he was on the USS Enterprises in 69 when it blew up 70 miles away from Hawaii. He was locked down below deck and was thrownback and rendered unconscious. He came to crawled through several little holes that eventually led him to the flight deck,he immediately began helping to fight the fier and once it was out he was air lifted to Awahoo (sorry about the spelling if incorrect)where he stayed for 3 months and due to his injuries was honorably discharged. I also want to thank all of the men in my family who fought in our country’s wars. Because someone from my family has fought in every war since the Revolution and I have great respect and love for all of them as well as being a very patriotic American. I thank all veterans men and women for all they sacrifice to keep us safe. Thank you again, A grateful American,” – Jessica McCormick

Honoring: Randall Eugene McCormick

“My dad, Henry M. Sutton Jr., served as a Cox Swain on the USS Pensacola (also known as the Gray Ghost) in WWII. He was in 57 engagements and 11 major battles in the Pacific. He loved his country, he loved his life in the Navy. He loved being in the water and on the ship. He did not talk much about the war during his life, but he did say he thought it made him a better man.” – Peggy Lee Romano

“My Dad was an Air Force Pilot, who was reported MIA in Vietnam, 6 Aug 1964. Being one(1) years old, I never really got to know this man who loved flying and serving his country. Thanks to this great nation who still actively seeks out closure on all MIA cases, our Dad was repatriated and buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery next to his wife, Lt. Shirley A. Cutrer on 6 June 2002. As an Air Force Veteran I salute all members of the service, retired and active. God Bless America.” – CMSgt Donald J. Cutrer

Honoring: Captain Fred Clay Cutrer Jr.

“Thinking of my grandfather who lost his life in St. James, France in August 1946 while defending our country and the freedoms we enjoy.” – Scott Neff

Honoring: Thurman Hill

“Our Veterans of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa and surrounding areas are the strength of the community. So many of them have lost their homes, their businesses and or jobs but they keep a positive attitude. I would not dare name them for fear of leaving someone out. They are a part of 3000 Sonoma county residents who have nothing. Homes gone, vehicles gone, keep sake gone, but they still show up for meetings and are there to help others. There are many functions and programs planned for Veterans Day to help and honor especially these Veterans.” – Harold Bagdonas

Honoring: All Veterans

“When I was little my uncle would take my brother and I , and Dad to Lowery AB in Denver and we watched the firemen practice putting out fires on fighter jets.” – Joe Fanatia

Honoring: Thomas M. Fanatia

“San Diego, California, Saturday, October 21, 2017 – Medal of Honor recipient and U.S. Marine Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams was honored with the christening of the U.S. Navy’s newest ship the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (“Big Woody”), with the designation of T-ESB-4.

“Woody” Williams, age 94, is from Ona, West Virginia and is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient for his combat actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima in WWII.

The USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base. At 784-foot-long, the ship will serve as a flexible platform to support a variety of missions, including counter-piracy operations, humanitarian missions, air mine countermeasures, and maritime security. The ship provides accommodations for up to 250 personnel, has a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, and will also support MH-60 and MH-53 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.

“Woody” Williams, spoke at the ceremony, thanking is supporters, family and friends and especially thanking the men who died fighting with and protecting him on Iwo Jima. The ship was christened by his two daughters, Travie and Tracie, with the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle alongside the ship.

Several dignitaries, military leaders, and politicians provided remarks at the event. Also in attendance were several hundred of Woody’s family and friends. NASSCO President Kevin Graney remarked, “Like every Marine, this ship is adaptable. Like its namesake, this ship is a force multiplier. We could not be more honored and more proud to design, build and soon deliver the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams.” And for all of us there at the ceremony, we are very honored and proud to just know and be friends with such an amazing Patriot and American. Semper Fi Woody, Semper Fi.

Submitted by:
Michael L. Emerson
U.S. Marine Corps Infantry
Stockton, California
AMVETS Life Member – Hayward, CA Post 911

Honoring: Medal of Honor recipient “Woody Williams”

“Jack is a WONDERFUL Guy! Although STILL Plagued by Nightmares and Flashbacks, he perseveres..He has been to places that do not ‘Officially Exist’ and done things he was ORDERED to do, which causes him Great Sorrow & those damn Nightmares.. ‘All I want to do is HELP People that NEED it, To make UP for the things I HAD to DO’.. he told me one night.. crying. I am a Former WAC Nurse, 12th Med, Danang Vietnam.. & I have my share of Nightmares too.. I can’t even BEGIN to Imagine what scenes of Horror that are in my Buddys mind.. But I Understand his Soul..His Spirit.. Jack & I have an ‘Esprit de Coeur’ that Few People understand.. Unless you ‘Have been there, done That & have all the Scars to Prove it’.. a person CAN NOT UNDERSTAND, that to paraphrase Gen. Patton: ‘War is Hell’.” – Sarah Johns Goodman RN Capt US Army (Ret).

Honoring: Jack Trantham

“You honor me and every American with your service to this great country and the people of this great country. I love you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!” – Kathryn Turk

Honoring: All Veterans

“Max and my wife Dianne dated in college and when he returned from Viet Nam as a triple amputee. They remained best friends and Max went on to become SECVA under President Carter. I spoke to Max several times after Dianne and met and married in 1990. In 2002 the VA denied my application for benefits from combat injuries suffered in V.N in 1968. I called Max for help. As we talked about VN and where/when I was there, he asked me if I recalled the name of my radio man. All I recall is that he made me fill sandbags for his bunker everytime we move to a new LZ. He said, “that was me”. In 2008 he hired me as his Aide to work with Veterans who needed help. I ended up working for ken and ric burns advising on their documentaries. The lastest is Veterans Affairs: The Human Cost of War. We are grateful to Max for his inspiration and life time of service.” – Jack Ravin

Honoring: Secretary Max Joseph Cleland

“On 3 Jan 72, which was also his birthday, DROPS was horribly wounded in a firefight. Upon his return to the states he encountered many problems and has persevered through them all. He now devise himself to helping other veterans overcome their struggles. This man is a true American Hero!” – John McCorkle

Honoring: David “DROPS” Sprinkle

“My Dad at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico , with a B-29. He was in the Army Air Corps and the the Air Force blue.” – Paul Knight

Honoring: Paul I Knight Sr.

“I honor my veteran Steven J Tanner my husband and I thank him for his service!!!!!” – Kathy Tanner

Honoring: Stephen J. Tanner

“My Veteran is my Daddy. He served during Korean War. There is a history of service in our family, in addition to him, six uncles and four cousins have served.” – Becky Hammer

Honoring: J.B. Redmond

“The army made me grow up.” – Edward r Hauptman

“My dad served in WW2 and flew a P-38. He remained active in the Air Force reserves and the VFW. I still have his brown leather bomber jacket with all of the patches!!!! He was very proud to have served his country!!!” – Nancy Fifer

Honoring: Edmund B. Gosnell

“My Uncle Dave served in the Navy for 20 years. When he returned he worked hard to get integrated back into our stateside life and find a second career. With help from organizations like AMVETS NSF, he was able to get resettled, buy a home, and find another 20 year career as a postmaster in Philadelphia, PA. Thank you to Veterans and all they do.” – Peter in Boulder, CO