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Subase Pearl Harbor Det 716 

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I solicited assistance in editing two of the stories I wrote for our WW II veterans and a third I am now writing, nearly completed. I sent the stories to my beautiful niece, a teacher who lives in Idaho, who forwarded them to her good friend Tim, who is an English professor, a professional writer and editor. He graciously did the editing of the stories for me.

English was never my forte. As I told my niece, I spent more time paying attention to the girls in the class than I did the teacher.

Recently Tim contacted me, which led to the following communications between us that I would like to share with you.

I wish to thank Tim for his contribution to the site by giving his time and professional assistance in editing these stories of our World War II Heroes.

 

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Tim, I want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your willingness to edit the story for Ernie, myself and our other veterans.  I am almost 72 years old and have discovered the willingness you exhibited in getting involved and stepping to the plate for what I consider a worthy cause, which used to commonplace, has diminished over the years.  Fortunately there are a few of us left that that does care for our Vets and the history they hold in the stories. 

God bless our veterans and our Country and may God bless you for your support. 

Most sincerely,  

ET1 Bill Lord USN/USNR (ret) 

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Visit our website:  http://subasepearl.com

FairWinds and Following Seas

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You are very welcome, Bill. Yes, I do have a lot of respect for veterans. My oldest brother, Fred, was a career man in the Navy and I had the pleasure of caring for him in his last two years of life.  He had a Japanese occupation medal (that he claimed he did not deserve), served in Korea and did three stints in Vietnam commanding a river boat.  My brother Ron was in Korea as a Chinese interpreter and apparently was way north of where our forces were supposed to have been.  I did not serve but, as noted, have great respect for those who did. 

Only 72?  Ah, the wonders of the Internet. I will turn 71 in October so I am many years Kim's senior and in your generation. 

I think it is great that you are creating recognition for people who deserve it.  I did a piece not long ago on a veteran in our church and I am attaching it because you might get a kick out of it 

I lived in Normandy for a year--1981-1982--and I am proud to say the French still have two Memorial Days each year, one for the Americans and one for the Canadians. Since our family was from the right continent, my kids got to carry the wreaths at both ceremonies. We were very proud. 

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Tim thanks so much for the nice letter you wrote and the kind words.  I found your story about Bill Bell extremely interesting.  

I only recently took a real interest in our veterans of foreign wars and decided to write their stories.  It all started a couple of years ago when I ran into a WW II vet Vernon Young, who was willing to set down with me a share his story.  We met at a Perkins Restaurant and sat over a light lunch as he shared his experiences during the war.   I created the page on our site called ‘The Last of Our WW II Veterans’, wrote his story and published it on these pages.

Later I invited him to a bi-annual breakfast get-together our reserve unit holds and introduced him (a Navy vet) to the unit.  He was accepted as one of us and since has attended several of our meetings.  He has become a very good friend of mine. 

Later I became interested in the Honor Flight program and did a lot of research on it and shared the information on our site.  I called Vern one day to ask him if he had heard of the program.  He had not.  So I told him what it was all about and asked him if he would like being considered for a flight to Washington DC through Honor flight.  He told me he would be honored to make the trip.  I downloaded an application for him and even filled it out with the necessary information and gave it to him with an envelope I had already addressed with a stamp on it at our next gathering in August of 2012.  He signed it, attached a copy of his DD-214 (discharge information) and mailed it.  Several months later he was accepted and made the trip in April of this year.  I might also add I assisted Vern in obtaining his DD-214 as he had never received one or it had been lost or misplaced over all the years.   

This is when I discovered the Subase website truly had a purpose.  The site has been dedicated to our Men and Women who wear the uniform of our armed forces and our veterans but now a special focus on our WW II vets has been placed which will remain our focus until they are all gone.  I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but they are dying at a rate of 680 per day according to the VA.  It is estimated they will all be gone by 2036, but most will be gone by 2020.  As soon as there are no more of them left, it is our plan to shift our focus to the Korean War vets and later our Vietnam vets. 

Ernie’s story was my fifth attempt at do this and I must add it gives me a satisfaction that is hard to describe.  One of the vets that I wrote a story for, Guy Rowe passed away only a couple of days after he was able to see his story on the internet and read it. 

I would like to share your letter to me on our site.  Also I would like to share your story about Bill Bell on the site.  Obviously I would only do this with your full permission. 

Please let me know if this is something you might be interested in allowing me to do. 

Best regards…. 

Bill 

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Visit our website:  http://subasepearl.com

FairWinds and Following Seas

Feel free, Bill, to use the email I wrote, the essay on Bill Bell, or both in any manner you desire.  As you have probably gathered, I write and edit professionally but almost never charge anything these days.  I actually got a check for work a week or so ago!  I was an expert witness in a complaint against a mortgage company and the attorneys paid for my opinion on some grammatical items in the contract.  I love to do both editing and writing and am always pleased when it has some meaning, as your work obviously does.  I cannot quite recall how Kim sucked me into doing things for her; I think maybe the first thing was a research paper she was doing for her graduate program. I am a retired college/university professor and administrator, among other things.   

Bill Bell is a fascinating man.  His son, Pat, is our parish priest at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, about five miles south of where I live. I will see Pat later this morning and let him know the essay, which was done for our church newsletter, will be re-published.  He will be, I am sure, delighted since he is really proud of his dad.   

I think what you are doing is great and I will not even  hold it against you that you first met Vernon at Perkins. We have one in Coeur d'Alene--or had one, anyway--and I was never especially pleased with it.   It closed down a while back and has now re-opened as something else though I have not been by to see what.  I think it is another restaurant but do not know the type.  

Honor Flight is a big deal out here, too, as it should be.  Every year we attend a fundraising auction for an outfit called Wisdom Works and they "auction off" an Honor Flight spot.  I am not quite sure what happens to the dough but I  have  heard stories told of folks who accompanied the vets and they are pretty amazing.  The town where we lived in France was named Authie and it is just outside Caen.  About 12 miles from the nearest D-Day beach head, it was liberated on D-Day but quickly lost again.  The initial liberation was by Canadians, among whom were the North Nova Scotia Highlanders; the Americans were supposed to be on one side and the Brits on the other but only the Canadians made it that far the first day and were cut off by the Germans who slaughtered most of them; I often visited an Abbey where 13 Canadians were murdered by the SS when they refused to divulge military secrets.  We lived on the Avenue of the Thirteen Canadians, incidentally, and strolled by a monument to their memory on a daily basis.  The Mayor of our tiny town loaned me a regimental history of the Highlanders written by the father of one of the Canadians who was killed there and the way the history was written, one could pinpoint the spot where a soldier was killed, literally within a foot or two. My son, who was ten or eleven then, and I could then find the grave of that soldier in the military cemetery; it was a very moving experience.  We visited every one of the beaches repeatedly with visitors and were over whelmed every time.  Bill, what they did was nigh onto impossible; The Longest Day captured the experience perfectly.  I have no idea how they managed to take those beaches.   

I was not aware of the exact death rate but I was pretty close,  My brother, by the way, was buried at sea--his ashes, anyway--according to his wishes by the US Navy which does it still for free.  Aside from that service, I was not too thrilled with the way the Navy treated its veterans though I suppose it could have been worse.   

All the best!

 

 

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