I want to honor my uncle (Clyde Reece), who never got to live his life. He went from the farm to France in WWII and was killed in Bastone during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a combat engineer, I do not know what outfit he was with, I wasn't able to find that out. He was buried in France and after the war my grandmother had him brought home and he is now buried in Guilford County.
My father was also in France at the same time and also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, with the 94th Infantry Division, 302nd Reg. 3rd Army under Patton. He was later injured and sent home, but alive.
I served in the Navy and helped witht he evac of Saigon in 1975. I wanted to be a Marine but my dad would not sign for me to join the Army or the Marines because of Vietnam. So I joined the Navy with a chance of going with the fleet Marines as a radio man. - John Reece
John E. Lescak
The Veteran I would like to Honor is my Grandfather John E. Lescak. My Grandfather was a WWII Veteran. He joined the Marines to help support his mother and sister and ended up defending the country. John was shot multiple times and given the last rites at least 4 times. No one expected him to make it, but like many great men of his time, he refused to give up.
I can not tell you how many times he told me stories of fighting in the Pacific Theatre and of the Great Men he fought alongside. I really value the right to vote and have voted in every election since I came of age, because he instilled in me the belief that America is The Greatest Country because we all get a say, and until you have seen how others are oppressed, you will never truly value what we have here in America.
John E. Lescak passed away in November of 2003 from Cancer and I have talked to many people who feel that the Men who fought in WWII are a lost breed, but when I look into the faces of our Military personnel, I see that same resolve and determination that I saw in my Grandfathers eyes when he would talk about his experiences, and I would love the opportunity to Honor him by wearing this pin while I cast my vote on November 4, 2008. Thank you. - Allison Woods
James Preston Stallings
I choose to honor my father, James Preston Stallings, with my vote. Daddy was a veteran of WWII, serving in the US Navy, assigned to the USS North Carolina Battleship. Oh, how he loved her!! Oh, how he loved this country!
Following the horror of December 7, 1941, it was virtually impossible to find an American male who was not ready to fight for our country; or so I've been told. My maternal Grandmother watched as 2 of her 3 sons went away to war. The oldest to the Coast Guard. The middle son was a pilot in the Army Air Corps, and served in the European theater. The youngest who was 4 years younger than my mother, and the "baby" of the family , could not join his older brothers during the war, but still joined the Navy when his age allowed. My Grandmother, I'm told, would sing her way through every day---- until her sons went off to war; and then the reason to sing, she could no longer find.
My father was born in October 1925, which means he was barely 16 yrs. old when Pearl Harbor was attacked, making him too young to "join up". He asked my Grandparents to sign for him to join the Navy and they both refused. So he lied. He never did say how he pulled it off, he simply said he went to another town, lied about his age, and joined the Navy! He must have spent his entire enlistment on the USS North Carolina, because that is all he talked about! As an active member of the USS North Carolina Battleship Association, Daddy tried hard to make every event, every reunion weekend. I feel certain that he only missed a very few reunions. Oh, how he loved that Battleship!
My Daddy died on March 31, 2008. On May 4, 2008, as part of the Memorial service for crew members who died since the previous year's reunion, Daddy's ashes were scattered from the bow of the Battleship, just as he requested. As his brother, my Uncle Donald, released his ashes, the wind caught them and carried them up in swirls until they disappeared, and settled somewhere along the Cape Fear River. Daddy would have approved.
I love my Daddy, and I miss him; but as long as that Battleship watches over historic downtown Wilmington, I feel I still have him near. To him, and every other crewman who served on that ship, she is a living, breathing entity, whose spirit draws each of them to herself, and provides for them, a safe place to remember. - D.S. LeRay
Kyle Reid Beaver
Today (October 1st) would have been my father's 76th birthday. However, he passed away in 1987 from cancer , which we feel was related to his years of service as a firefighter for the City of Salisbury.
I would like to vote this year in honor of my father, Kyle Reid Beaver. He served in the US Army in the 1950s. Many times he told us, that he wished he had made the Army his career, but he went on to serve our community in a honorable way in the fire service.
I think this program is a wonderful tribute to our veterans. - Kelley Williams
Jean and Barney Leon Rentz
Thank you for allowing me the honor or telling my family’s story about our United States Air Force Veterans’.
Mother, Jean and Father Barney Leon Rentz, met and married in Florida, where my father flew for the Hurricane squad. In the 1950’s when a man and woman met, fell in love then married, both could not stay in the service. Uncle Sam could not promise to keep the two together when transfer time came. Thus, my mother got out, and married a simple GI. Not that long after, 2 years, their first born, a daughter came into their lives. Struck with polio, and my dad knowing how much medical bill where to come, they made a choice to make the air force his carrier(I should say our carrier). He switched from flying to working on those big birds as he called them. 2 years later, I came along, then 5 years my younger sister. (during which they had two other children that did not make it)
My parents where hard working people, as expected, mother ironed my fathers fatieg’s, as the military calls them, a uniform to a civilian, and Dad spit polished his boots for inspection days.
The time came for my father to get his orders for VIETNAM. Nam for short. Little did I know when I watched him load that plane how life would change for us all.
I still have every letter my father sent us and my mother while he was in the war. The war that changed him, and as a result, changed us. I do remember watching Walter Cronkite every night, at the end he always told how many of our men died, and how many of theirs got killed. At the age of 5-6 years old, I stopped eating, I cried for him, and feared for him to be one of the many killed in that war.
He was not killed, he was one of the fortunate ones that lived, although he wouldn’t talk about life there too much he did tell us some general things. The stories he would tell, reminds me of the service guys today. You had to watch everyone…you never knew if a woman, child or man had a bomb…Like Iraq. They where lonely, little information about things in the states other than some letters they would receive and share info with others. Much like today in Iraq. My Father Barney Leon Rentz was my hero. He learned to drink too much, smoke too much, curse like a sailor as momma would say, of which 2 of his brothers served in the us navy.
Both of my Veterans are dead now, only their memory’s, and these words you are reading live on today. For that reason, when I see another GI, or veteran, I always pray for them, and their family. …You know the funny thing when we where one of my dad’s little men….my sisters and I, we never ever thought anyone else cared about us and what we sacrificed to serve this country of ours, So for that I thank you for allowing me to speak up for both my parents and my sisters in honor of Barney and Jean Rentz.
God Bless America, and the family’s that serve then, and now. - Teresa Brines
Robert Michael Casey
I would like to respectfully request that my vote in the November 4, 2008 General Election be recorded to honor a friend who along with 691 other Hospital Corpsman gave their last full measure to their country.
HM3 Robert Michael Casey and 691 other Navy Hospital Corpsmen Colleagues listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously for extraordinary heroism on 16 May 1968 while serving as a corpsman with Company "G", Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, 1st Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam.
During Operation ALLEN BROOK, Company "G" was moving through a fortified village in Quang Nam Province to engage an estimated 200 North Vietnamese Army Regulars. Suddenly, the point elements came under heavy enemy fire, sustaining numerous casualties. Petty Officer Casey unhesitatingly moved forward under the intense hostile fire and administered medical aid to one of the wounded Marines. Although wounded himself, he disregarded his own injury as he proceeded to another casualty to render medical treatment.
Wounded again while assisting his comrade, Petty Officer Casey steadfastly continued his efforts and moved to the aid of still another casualty, receiving two additional wounds while treating the Marine. When other Marines moved forward to evacuate Petty Officer Casey, he adamantly refused to leave the battle area, stating that he wanted to continue to treat the wounded. After being evacuated to the rear by his companions, he encouraged the casualties around him and provided instructions to others in applying battle dressings.
Upon hearing a wounded Marine call for aid, Petty Officer Casey dauntlessly crawled to the man and, while treating his injuries, was mortally wounded.
By his unflagging courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his comrades, and unfaltering devotion to duty, Petty Officer Casey upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.Thank you. - "Doc" Ron Yates HM2, Company "H", 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division 1967-68
William Clyde Henry
I am writing to request a pin to wear on Election Day. It will be in honor or memory of William Clyde Henry. Your flyer says in honor; however, William Clyde passed away on January 14, 1999. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was in the 104th Division, Company G, and he was in the timber wolves. Thank you for your contributions to our veterans. - Patsy Mathis
Juantrea T. Bradley, Sr.
I will be voting in honor of my husband, SSG Juantrea T. Bradley, Sr. He was in the Army for 9 years and served his country to the fullest. On March 12, 2008 my husband was killed in action while in Iraq serving with the 7th Sustainment Brigade special troops battalion. Thank you for giving me the chance to honor him on this day. Love and miss you honey. HOOHA! - Ava Bradley
James R. Wicker
My father, Lt. Col. James R. Wicker, was a B-17 pilot in WWII and after surviving a plane crash was interned as a POW in Stalag Luft I. He returned home in July of 1945 and continues to serve in the USAF as a pilot until his retirement in 1963. He passed away in 1990, always my hero! - Jill Gooding