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By Mindy Crandall
Veteran’s Day is Friday! A day that all should commemorate on the eleventh hour. Every American citizen has earned the freedom that has and will continue to be gained through the acts of brave soldiers who choose to protect our dearly beloved country. Great sacrifices should be honored. And I find no greater act of sacrifice than to give one’s own life for another. Think about it. How many people can say they would lay their life on the line for everyone?
Now as a parent of four kids, I’ve said numerous times that I would give my own life to protect my children and I would, but for just anyone? That would be tough. To those that raise their right hand and take the oath to do so, I commend you. All I can say is you’re awesome!
I have to admit, I have never served in any branch of the military, but I do respect those that do. I have two grandfathers who spent time serving our country as well as several uncles and cousins. I can’t thank them enough!
I’ve only experienced a life saving act just once. I gave blood. It felt so good knowing that I helped someone else. I can only hope this is the same sensation that our armed forces feel when defending our country.
I have also been the recipient of blood, which saved my life. This made me think about God’s command, to love our neighbors as our self. The person who took time out of their schedule to give blood allowed me to live. Soldiers do this every day and for all of us. They not only protect our land, but air and sea as well.
Each military branch, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, all have one mission – to protect. Many times they work closely together and depend on one another.
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military. The primary mission of the army is to “provide necessary forces and capabilities in support of the National Security and Defense Strategies.
Several men in Douglas County lost their lives while in the Army during World War I and World War II. Those names are gently etched on a placard in the Ava Cemetery.
Those killed in action to which we give honors to while serving in World War I are Jack Alsup, Monroe W. Collins, Lewis W. Heatherly, Virgil M. McMurtney, Roy W. Tooley, Ephram Davis, Charlie Ball, James M. Brown, Willie Cornett, Zeek Hurst, John A. Moore, William O. Woodford, Earl Foster, Frank Ball, Delbert Burk, Curtis K. Denny, Willie Leroy, Burl Phillips, Willam E. Kester, Floyd Breckner, Claude F. Wallace, James C. Chadwell, Edgar L. Elliott, Sherman E. Jennings, Lester R. Sutherland, Willie Freeman, Darrell Phillips and John F. Wallace James E. Aday, Sammy O. Cantrell, Dan Cunningham, John L. Freeman, Fred L. Lathrop, Bob L. Pettit, Lowell Quick, Cletis Applegate, John B. Clayton, Clarence Dobbs, Everett Hampton, Richard McDonald, Charles Pamperien, Jimmie Rhynes, Frank Pigg, Alva Cook, Lawrence Huffman, Jack McVay, Gene Phillips, Harley Stubbs, Billie Barlett, Ova Cook, John Gott, Clifford Hutchison, Otis Nall, Lawrence Privett and Gene Wheeler.
Those killed in action during World War II and also much deserving of honors were Earl E. Williams, Fred Harris, Herbert M. Evans, Virgil W. Wilson, Frank Cudworth, Earl N. McIntosh, Merle Melton, Cecil Huffman and Ferdinand Gauer.
Yet another branch of U.S. military is the Navy. Their mission is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. It doesn’t have an official motto, but is often noted for “Non sibi sed patriae” Not self but country.
Otho Hopenwell must have followed this pledge as he gave his Naval life for us and our country during World War I.
Forrest O. McHolland, Lowell R. Turner, Jack Breedlove, Calvin F. Huff and Leonard Rowe were also killed in Naval action, but in World War II.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. It was initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18,1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed and is one of the most technologically sophisticated air forces.
The United States Marine Corps is also a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. Semper Fidelis, it’s more than their motto, it’s a way of life. It distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork – it is a brotherhood and lasts for life. Semper Fidelis is Latin for “always faithful.” These simple, but powerful words guide Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to the country, no matter what.
Glen V. Brown was the only noted Marine to be killed in action during World War II.
Many men and women from Douglas County have been killed in the line of action. How devastating to know that some mother or father lost a child, or some child lost a mother or father. Even more devastating than that is the idea that some children never have the opportunity to meet their parents. This is the case for Sharon Jenkins. Her father, Sammy Cantrell, was killed in France during World War II. She was only nine months old the last time she saw her father. Sharon’s father and mother, Gladys (Hale) Cantrell married January 1, 1942 and shortly after her father was drafted and sent to France. Sammy would lovingly write his wife. After the letters stopped coming, Mrs. Cantrell became wary that something had happened. It wasn’t until a telegram was sent that she knew her young husband had given his all during war and was now deceased. Gladys kept the letters for her daughter. This is all Sharon has left of her father. Tears cannot mend what time has taken away… a life… a life of honor… a life for us!
Memories of the past aren’t always all there is! For Caron Daugherty it was a trip to France to celebrate the memory of Charley Manford Johns, World War II Honoree, who died July 28, 1944 in a mid-air collision with a German fighter over the Normandy region of France. During the week-long visit she was overwhelmed with the emotion of what happened that day. A rare glimpse of possibilities and the thought of her own flesh and blood being a part of that. It was quite a honor to attend the memorial in Lessard-et-le Chene, France where local villagers dedicated a memorial to the crew of this B-26 Bomber.
This trip for her was the result of selfless acts of love and sacrifice on the part of many people. It had been 67 years since the accident and she has had the rare opportunity to share in this moment for remembrance and recollection for her family.
As the lyrics of the song My Country ‘Tis of Thee suggest – sweet land of liberty of thee I sing, land were my fathers died, land of the pilgrims pride, from every mountainside let freedom ring!
Think about these words, how true they are! To truly understand what all is sacrificed on our behalf, is somewhat incomprehensible. To say, Thank You, is the least we can do!
To Veteran’s – Thank You For Your Sacrifice so that my family and I can enjoy the true beauty of mother earth in the United States!