This gentlemen asked for his name to be kept secret so we will refer to him as JDM. JDM served in the Army for 31 months and fought in what was known as the Pacific D-Day, or when "Macarthur Returned" where he was shot in the right arm.
He was drafted in 1943 when he was 18 years old, JDM began as a Private and came out as a Sargent.
While training in Chicago with an Army Specialized Training Program(ASTP) for engineering the program was shut down because they needed boots on the ground in the Phillipenes.
He then proceeded to have training in Oregon for three months, training in California for one month and lastly a few months training in Hawaii.
CHALLENGING TIMES IN THE SERVICE
After this he was placed on a Landing Ship Tank (LST) which is a ship that is intended to carry cargo and tanks directly on shore for an attack. JDM was a member of a 200 man Company, who all had to sleep on the deck of this ship for the duration of the 30 day trip.
“It was awful,” he said. “The Navy would make us clean the deck too, they would yell ‘SWEEPER MAN YOUR BROOM.’”
The D-day in the Pacific was Oct. 20 1944 on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. Shot nine days after he landed, he was evacuated to a hospital in New Guinea for several weeks then McGuire's VA Hospital where he was not allowed to return to combat.
The Purple Heart JDM was awarded.
The day he got shot they were about to raid a village, he was a second scout which means he would go out ahead of everyone.
While he was scouting a Japanese soldier came out of nowhere and attacked him, he didn't even see it coming. This was the only time he saw combat and he was awarded the purple heart for it.
He called it his “million dollar wound” because it probably saved him from being killed.
Because of this, JDM was a machine gun instructor at Fort Lee for his last year in the service, then he was honorably discharged.
After the War
He didn't really have a difficult time adjusting after he came back from the service whereas now it is a little different.
“It was a war that was good for the country because they had a purpose of liberation in freeing a people,” he said. “It was a different mindset then from now.”
“The GI bill was wonderful, it gave me four years of school,” he said.
He studied at the University of Virginia’s medical school and then started practicing medicine in Petersburg under Dr. Yates until he retired then Dr. Field.
He was originally going to go to law school after the war but he thought you had to be born a doctor. It wasn't until he had a conversation with a doctor he really respected that he was talked into going to medical school.
He is 90 years old and had been retired for 15 years but he says its awful because he’s so bored, he would much rather be working.
JDM was married for 58 years to the love of his life until she passed away two years ago, he also has five children, eight grand children and one great grand child.
“I told myself I would never marry a yankee, a nurse or a catholic and I wound up marrying all three,” he said.
He now spends his time giving back to the community in the Rotary Club in Petersburg and over the past 3 years they raised 50,000$ for the YMCA.
He is In favor of young people serve in the military one or two years just to give them more meaning of being American, it would also prepare everyone if there was a draft.
“If everyone spent some time serving it would help everything,” says JDM. “It is a very good thing to learn how to take orders and obey their superiors.”
He also believes that if everyone in Congress had military experience they would also have a different mindset.
In 1975 70 percentage of Congress had military experience, only 20 percent do today. Also during WWII more than 12 percent of America were in the armed forces compared to today where less that .5 percent serve.