Veteran Stories Page 2
I am requesting this pin in honor of my father Jerry Farley. Jerry Farley served as
an Army Sergeant in the Korean Conflict. He lost hearing in his ear after a grenade
exploded near him, but never regretted his service to our country. He felt serving
was his duty even though his family discouraged him because his older brother John
had died while serving in the Pacific arena during World War II. He would be glad
to know that North Carolina is doing this to honor veterans who fought for the freedoms
that we often take for granted. - Lisa Gamache
Marvel McLin Green
I would like to honor my father, Marvel McLin Green, as part of the Vote in Honor
of a Veteran Program in the 2008 General Election. My father served in the U.S. Army
in Okinawa during World War II. He died in 1964 at the age of 53. He rarely talked
about his service to our country. But, I always knew he was a patriot - taking care
of his family and contributing to his church and community. He became a third degree
Mason and worked tirelessly in the Republican Party.
My father had only one brother, Jack (Samuel Gothard), who fought in the European
Theater. Before both were sent overseas in 1941, they exchanged Roman cameo rings
with their names engraved. In 1944, Jack was killed at Anzio, Italy while my father
was still serving in Japan. My father wore his cameo ring until the day he died.
I now have both these rings which serve as symbols of the sacrifices made by many
families. My husband and I are childless, but I will pass these rings and their histories
on to my cousin's two grandsons, Michael and Blake. - DeLina G. Furr
Marvin Lee Adams
I would like to receive 3 pins in honor of Marvin Lee Adams, who served in the
Air Force for 20 years, spent time overseas during the Vietnam War, and in the states.
When he retired from the Air Force, he worked for the Federal Government at NADAP
in Norfolk, VA until they closed it. He enjoyed motorcycles and became the Safety
Instructor for North Carolina until he developed esophagus cancer. He had surgery
done in Duke Hospital but a year and a half later, it returned with vengance and he
died in June 2005. He enjoyed the Air Force and loved to work on airplanes.
We would like to honor him on this election day. - Ervin Adams
(brother) Janis Adams (sister-in-law) and Levert Adams (his
92 year old mother)
Thank you for recognizing our Veterans through this program.
My daughter 24 year old, Lisa Marie, wife to Christopher and mother of two (2
½ year old Dylan, 1 year old, Aidan) proudly serves in the Air Force, currently
stationed in Iraq.
There’s so much I’m thankful for in regard to those in the armed forces
who have and are continuing to serve our country on our behalf. I’m
personally proud of my daughter who works with a commendable vision towards service.
Her commitment, drive and focus throughout her time overseas, away from family and
loved ones is inspirational, a gift to our country and a legacy to her children.
- Teresa Dagaz
Throughout my life, Mr. Wilbur Debnam, a WW2 Army officer veteran and a lifelong member
of my church has continued to inspire me and others that he contacts. Mr. Debnam,
flew bombing airplanes during combat in WW2 and was wounded. He is my hero, and it
is he who inspired me to become a officer and Captain in the Army.
Mr. Debnam, is a fine example to all Veterans and deserves to be honored by a badge
if you will mail this badge to me, I will wear it proudly. - Fred Ellington
My father fought in the Army during WW II. He was with the troops that were stranded
30 miles behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge. He very seldom talked
about his experience, but the few details that were passed on to us were frightening.
The horror that these heroes suffered was considered "our part of the job that needed
to be done". He carried the scars of that fight for the rest of his life. - Maria
Brian Lee Carter and Roberth
This is a request for a personalized buttons(two each--one for myself –one
for their sister) to honor my sons, Brian Lee Carter age 38, and Robert Lee Carter
age 35. Both served in the Air Force during the conflicts in the early and mid
I was blessed that my son Robert returned safely from overseas and that Brian
served in Rapid City with his wife Kim serving out of the country several times.
Our men, women, boys and girls that serve in the armed forces deserve to be recognized
all the time. They are the ones that has made it so that we can vote and for our freedom.
God bless you. Thanks - Carolyn F. Carter
Robert "Neal" Willis
I am requesting a pin in honor of my father, Robert "Neal" Willis of Beaufort,NC.
He served his country proudly as a Chief Radioman during WW II serving in the US Navy
aboard eight ships. During the War he wrote many letters home addressed "To the Editor"
of The Beaufort News, the local newspaper. These letters helped people at home understand
what was going on with the War. When the War ended, as a charter member he helped
establish the Jones-Austin VFW post. He always took pride in service of our country
and was a promoter of patriotism. He died four years ago at the age of eighty seven.
I'm sure he would be happy to know that the North Carolina State Board of Elections
is paying this tribute to veterans. Thank you for recognizing our Veterans.
- Linda Willis Sadler
Elmer L. Smith
I was still in High School when I was asked to join the Civil Defense team for
Williamson County, Marion, IL. My job was to locate all the people on my list
in the area and to provide them with a place to go in the event of any emergency.
I was 16 years old at that time in 1942.
I soon became more involved when i volunteered to make model planes in my building
trade class. These model plane teplets were used in training by the Army, Navy,
and Air Force to help them recognize the various airplanes that were being used during
This turned out well for me. It was a learning experience I was soon to
learn would be one of the most memorable in my life. Because of this, I was
able to recognize the German fighter planes when my unit in the US Army was attacked
in Crailshime. I was able to bring one plane down and drove off three others.
This was in April 1945.
A month earlier, two of our tank crews were sent in to join the task force at
Frankfurt, under sealed orders, to open up a prison camp at Hammelburg. One
of the prisoners being held was John W. Waters, the son-in-law of General Patton.
We found our selves in the battle of our lives, most of our unit was either killed
or take prisoner. When it was declared "Everyone for himself" we had only
two tanks left. We went out another way and ended up 75 miles behind the enemy
line. At this point, my tank Commander was killed by a sniper. Two more
of my tank buddies were killed and I was injured at Orengen, Germany April 13, 1944.
That was all of the war for me, at the age of 18.
I did not talk to my children about the war until I started going to the 10th
Armored Division reunions in 2004 where I was reunited with other survivors.
I am an 82 year old, disabled, 70%, service connected Veteran, one of the few WWII
Vets surviving. I would gladly stand up and fight for Old Glory again.
- Elmer L. Smith
Stewart A. Hommel
Stewart A. Hommel, SSgt. USAF Disable Veteran assigned to 81 FMS in 1969, TDY
to Libya, N. Africa. I was on the last flight out of Wheelis, AFB Tripoli, Libya.
There government wanted us out. This was the last time we occupied this base.
- Stewart A. Hommel
Thurman W. Peedin
I am honoring my father who was a World War II veteran from Johnston County, North
Carolina. My father, Thurman W. Peedin, served in the United States Army as an enlisted
soldier from February 1941 until honorable discharge in 1945. He was in an engineering
company. He served in North Africa, Italy, and France. My father was wounded at a
place in Italy called “purple heart valley.” His picture was on the cover of life
magazine dated July 3, 1944. There is no inside cover story, only his picture helping
a wounded soldier returning from a patrol. My father taught me early about values,
the importance of a free nation, and that we must always vote. He died in 1981, leaving
this world as lived his life, a Christian. - Wayne Peedin
William R. Reichstein
Dad was a veteran of WWII, Korea, Vietnam. He passed and was buried with full military
honors in 2002. He lived and breathed the Corp and for the Marine Corp League after
his discharge. 30 yrs of military service, 20 yrs League. Dad was MCL National Marine
of the Year in 1997, he was Honorary National Commandant of the MCL in 1999. - Denise
and Fred Ingram
Mervin F. Anderson
I am voting in honor of my father, Mervin F. Anderson, who served in the U.S. Navy
during WWII. My father lived to the age of 99, and passed away on Memorial Day of
2007. He spent the last five years of his life at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital
in Charleston, SC. He was very happy to be able to trade old war stories with other
WWII vets. I will be forever grateful to the staff for the excellent care he received
from all his caregivers. - Bonnie M. LeDuc
Steve Farmer (1952-2008) served for three years in the United States Army. He died
in January of this year of a heart attack, but he spent his life serving his fellow
man. He was a volunteer EMT, Firefighter and Fire Chief in Marshville, NC. He was
a band parent for the High School and drove the bus for the band long after his own
children graduated. He served his family, his church, his community and was a helping
hand whenever one was needed. He truly understood what it meant to serve God and Country.
- Larry Farmer
I would like a pin to honor a long-time member of my church, Mr. Henry Bookhardt.
Mr. Bookhardt is 88 and still attends church faithfully. He served for 30 years and
retired as a chief warrant officer 4. He served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I would
like to honor him on election day. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea! - Joyce
Erwin S. Batten
My husband is a World War II Army veteran, and I would like to have a button for him.
Erwin S. Batten served from 1942 to 1946 in the HQ Battery 367th Field Artillery of
the Army's 98th Division. Before his division sailed from Hawaii to Japan, they were
told that there would be 85% casualties when they landed on the beaches. While they
were on the water, the atomic bomb was dropped, and Japan surrendered. They were the
first to land after the unbelievable destruction.
Erwin worked with the Durham Police Department for 35 years, but his four years
of military service mean more to him than all the other years put together. He is
so proud to be a World War II veteran. - Matilda Batten
Hal William Harrison
My husband served for six years in the army - not a career vet - the most part as
Military Intelligence / Military Poice. The military was his home and he loves it
to this day. I would appreciate a button to surprise him. His full name is Hal William
Harrison; however, he has used the nickname of "Bill" for years. Bill Harrison is
preferred. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. Bill is in later stages
of congestive heart failure at 68 years of age, and knowing he hasn't been forgotten
will lift him tremendously. - Wanda Harrison
Jerry Ross Seago
I am writing to honor my husband, Jerry Ross Seago. Jerry flew helicopters in Vietnam
with the 189th AHC. He came home to be a good father, a good husband, and a productive
citizen of our country. We have raised two daughters and are proud grandparents of
six beautiful grandchildren. Jerry continues to exemplify what it means to love our
country and believe in our way of life. Jerry and other Vietnam veterans formed the
North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association several years ago and has spent
the last 20 years of his life sharing the history of Vietnam Veterans with the children
and general public of our great State. I am personally proud of him for his service
to our country during that tumultuous time in our Nation's history. I am proud that
men like him for many generations have preserved my right as an American citizen to
vote and have my voice heard on this election day. - Barbara Seago
T. Ford Dixon
T. Ford Dixon was a WWII Vet. He was in the Army 44th Combat Engineers. He was a POW
captured at the Battle of the Bulge. He lived in Yadkinville, NC and passed away at
the age of 88. He was a great Father and Grandfather, we miss him. Thanks. - The
Thank you for offering this button as another way of honoring our veterans. I will
wear it proudly, as I work the polls on Election Day! Please include the name Ronald
Ellis, as my honoree on my button. He is my husband and served in the Army during
the Vietnam War. Needless to say, I am VERY proud of him. The fact that he enlisted
in the Army instead of waiting to be drafted, speaks volumes about the man and how
he feels about our country. - Georgia Ellis
I recently learned of your free button on voting in honor of a veteran and wish to
share something about my Great-Uncle Marvin Hellard of Mocksville, NC (deceased).
Uncle Marvin served as a Machinist's Mate on board the USS Missouri during WWII in
the Asian-Pacific Theater.
As a child he would patiently answer any questions that I had about his time
in service and his pride for being in the Navy on a new battleship. He often told
me of how this was where he learned his lifetime trade of metal working as a machinist
for Ingersol Rand of Mocksville. I recall the tatoo on his arm of the anchor and BB-63.
I once built a model of the USS Missouri for him so that he could use it as a physical
way to help relate where he had been onboard ship.
My favorite story was of how he went to bed one evening as the fleet began off
shore bombardment of a enemy held island. The noise was horrendous and constant. He
slept just fine though having learned that everything is all right aboard ship so
long as the guns are still firing. He startled awake early the next morning to a silent
ship. He went topside and noted that the island the ship was cruising by look nothing
like the one from the evening before. He questioned others onboard and determined
the ships could not get accurate range / distance data to fire directly at heavily
fortified artillery position near the far side of a mountain range on the island and
so the decision had been made to change the fleet's position in the night so that
they guns could simply begin firing at the top of the mountain range from the opposite
(and closer) side. So during the night the fleet had blown the entire top off the
mountain range and permanently changing the physical appearance of the island just
to assure that those enemy positions would not pose a threat to the Marines that would
be landing on the island that morning! Sadly, he departed the ship only months before
the peace treaty was signed on her deck in Tokyo Bay. He never got to see the ship
again, but he was very proud of her and of his service onboard the "The Big Mo." - Barry
Paul B. Dry
I would like a button to honor my father, SSG Paul B. Dry. He served in North Africa,
Belgium, France and Germany during WWII, and was awarded the Bronze Star with "V"
and two Purple Hearts, but the stories he told were always about other men's bravery,
never his own. I do know that he rushed a position that had his squad pinned down,
single handedly capturing six enemy soldiers. He mostly talked about serving in Patton's
army during the Battle of the Bulge. Dad was part of the generation that simply saw
a duty to do, and did it. He was active in the Mooresville VFW Post #1072 in the Honor
Guard after the war. We always flew the flag outside our house, and I continue to
do so today at my home. I was, and still am, very proud of my father. His service
influenced my career in the Army, of which he was always proud. He never missed an
opportunity to vote, and when I became eligible, he made sure I never missed it either.
Dad died in 1986 but would have loved voting in this election. - David W. Dry,
SFC US Army Retired
David J. Eddleman
I would like to honor my father, David J. Eddleman, who fought in WWII. He went to
England early in the war to help forecast weather for the bobers going to Europe and
then to prepare for D-Day. He went to Europe after D-Day with Patton's army, and was
at the Battle of the Bulge. His two brothers also fought, his twin brother in the
Pacific and his older brother in Europe. His older brother died there.
He stayed in the Army-Air Corps after the war and went to Korea during that conflict.
He remained in the Air Force until his retirement in 1980. He died in 1992.
I will be so proud to wear this button in honor of my father, whose inquiring
mind, ethics, and discipline have influenced me all my life. - Celia Isbrecht
James L. Dawson
The veteran I want to honor is my Dad, James L. Dawson. He served in the
United States Army during WWII. He was particularly interested in Politics and always
encouraged us to vote. My Dad, I think was the first person at the polls for every
election throughout my life! He was determined to exercise the right that so many
fought and died for. As an African American man who grew up in the South and experienced
first hand how segregation affected our community, my Dad stood strong and believed
in and loved this Country.
All of my life he told stories of his experiences overseas. The one that I remember
most is when he was in the Fiji Islands, he was given eggs that were fried in lamb
grease. He never ate lamb after that! He passed on December 9,2006. Oh how I wish
he were here to witness this historic election!!
I love and miss him so much, and in his honor not only will I vote, but I am also
a Campaign Volunteer! Thank you Daddy for all you've taught me, especially a love
for this great country of ours! - Jacqueline Dawson
George Harrison Hall, Jr.
I would like to honor my father, George Harrison Hall, Jr. My father joined the army
in 1940. He lied about his age in order to join. In the beginning, he was sent to
Panama where he contacted malaria and was a baseball player. When the war broke out,
he was sent to Europe where he received his first purple heart. After recovering,
he was sent back where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge where he received his
second purple heart and a Bronze Star. As a history teacher in high school, I tried
to "pick" my father about details about the war, but he wouldn't talk much about it.
I asked him would he please write his memoirs about the war, but I never received
them while he was alive.
My father was very sick with pulmonary fibrosis, when my husband and I took him to
the World War II Memorial in Washington when he was 80 years old. That was one of
my most memorable experiences with him. Wearing his ribbons on his hat, we spent over
3 hours at the memorial with all types of people coming up to him and shaking his
hand and thanking him for the freedom that he had enabled them to have. So many tears
were shed that day by people like me and other verterans.
He died the week before Christmas at the age of 82. A week after he died, my mother
found a 20 page letter where he told me all about his experiences in the war. It was
dated 1983...probably about the time that I had requested him to write it down. This
means so much to me, because I now know what he endured to give all of us the freedom
that we are now experiencing.
In 2001, my father had the honor of pinning the wings on my son who had graduated
from the Naval Academy and had graduated from flight school in Pensacola. He was so
proud of his grandson, Christopher Steven Hinkle, who was a pilot that served in Iraq.
- Pat Hall Mabe
George W. Punch
I am voting this year in honor of my dad, George W. Punch. He was a Marine that served
in World War II in the Pacific Theater. His "Corps" value was something lived by and
taught this to my brother and I, that we both joined the Marines and served in Vietnam.
We lost him in April 2006 and I know that he is gaurding Heaven scenes. - Wesley
“Bill” is married to a nursing colleague of mine. We met when they were living in
Maine. He served in the Marines during the Viet Nam War and is a Purple Heart recipient.
He is retired from FAA and now works for UNC-Wilmington. I am honored to be Bill’s
friend and will be voting in his honor, in honor of all veterans and those serving
in the military during this election. Thank you for this program. - Lois-Ann
Ebin Joseph Bell
I would like to honor my father Ebin Joseph Bell of Swansboro NC, but lived in Wilmington
NC at time of his death. He was born in 1921 and past away in 2006. He was in the
Army/Air Core during World War II. He helped stormed the beaches of Normandy. To this
day I wear one of his military pins every day close to my heart in remeberance of
the time he served and for what he and others did for us and our country. I thank
all of you. - Gloria Yarborough
Walter Allen Sommers
A member of the Greatest Generation, my father remains a true American. Joining the
Navy during WWII, he became a ship's carpenter for 18 months on a ship named the LST265.
Although the ship came under enemy fire, my dad and the crew managed to escape harm.
This loyal U.S. citizen travelled the Mediterranean Sea, plus he landed in Japan right
after the atomic bomb.
Today, he and my mother live with my husband and me in NC. He now remains on a list
to become eligible in the state of NC for veteran's benefits. There is a two-month
waiting list! Last year, a group of wonderful volunteers and contributors took my
dad and other WWII veterans to visit Washington, D.C.! What a proud moment it was
for the men to visit the WWII Memorial. They were treated like kings! After living
through the war and the depression, the legacy of my father's lessons of life, truth,
honesty, and loyalty to one's country is something I am very proud of. To this day,
he struggles to walk to the flag pole and hang the American flag. Please send me a
Veteran's button. - Patricia Sommers Barnett
Diana K. Sulpizio
The story of the Veteran I am honoring begins with who I am. My Veteran HERO is my
mother, Maj. Diana K. Sulpizio,RN USAF-deceased. Although I hardly knew her, I do
remember how she loved our country. I remember asking her why she had to wear "that
uniform" to work. She would explain the importance of giving back to a country that
has given us so much.
I was only 7 years old when I heard those dreaded words on the radio station. It was
July 11, 1973 and I can still remember the sound bite they played when an emergency
news broadcast was getting ready to be aired. I turned the vacuum off and turn the
radio up so I could hear the story. It was when I heard my mother's name- being declared
dead. The announcer had only read the headline before the commercial break. I ran
to the other side of the house to gather my older brother and younger sister; explaining
to them what I had heard on the radio. We sat in front of the speakers waiting for
the announcer to return. The announcer began by repeating the story headline, when
he repeated my mother's name the three of us just looked at each other in complete
The military funeral was American's way of saying "Thank You". I am so proud of my
mother and trying to make make her proud has been my life long mission. - Kristi
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