World War II, an era that changed the country we call our home in the most drastic of ways, teaching the community to stick together unlike ever before. It changed the mentality of the country, encouraging those involved to provide a new path for those thereafter.
I have an unyielding passion for veterans, especially those of WWII, unfortunately a love that is not shared by a many of my peers. I had the fortune of growing up with a grandfather who served in WWII, he was an army paratrooper in the 82nd airborne, a Battling Buzzard. I grew up hearing stories of the war, when he passed away I continued to learn more of his service through my grandmama. This is what sparked my interest for WWII history and has now led me to a new level of learning through veterans first accounts.
I have began with the oldest veterans still recorded to be living, the veterans that reshaped the country as we know it, a generation that optimized servitude, humility and duty. I will continue to cover different generations of veterans but I chose to begin here as many of these brave soldiers are fading away. Their stories must not go untold.
I have full intentions of telling as many veteran stories as I can on a timeline of WWII to Iraq, a grand entrance to a humble venture. With that being said, I think a critical part of understanding what these men and women battled through is understanding the mentality of the greater whole in that particular era.
During the time of the war 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces, 38.8% volunteered. Today less than 0.05% of the population serves, just to put these numbers into perspective. Our nation is full of pride, pride from whence we came and where we have potential to go, it is important to be grateful to all those who serve and have served because without that, this would be nonexistent.
The men I have had the opportunity of meeting have forever changed me, they have shown me what it was like to persevere through the worst of times and still make the best of life. I have heard their pain and their joys through their stories and I hope individuals can take away half of what I have while reading. I have learned humility from these veterans, a virtue not so easily achieved. No one man that I have spoken with boasted of their accomplishments or achievements, rather spoke of duty, loyalty, hard work ethic and the endearment of those close to them; In life and in war.