Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On This Day, We Remember

Today is Veteran's Day. Today we honor those who have served in the military. Those who are still with us, those who are not, and those who paid the ultimate price in battle and laid down their lives for their country.

Today I would like to remember those in my family who have served. From the Army, to the Air Force, my family has seen quite a few members in active service from WWI to Iraq. Today I honor those. The pictures below are of my Granddaddy, Papa, and Grandpa. 3 great men and fathers with whom I have had the pleasure of having in my life before their passing. I have heard their stories both first hand, and passed down. The group picture is of my Great Grandfather Ray Hartsell, my great great Uncle Oscar Hartsell, and my Great Great Uncle Belton Hartsell. All three saw combat in WWI and all three returned home. My mom and dad have also contributed today with the pictures, list of family members who have served, and a few words about them. Thank you mom and dad for helping in remembering these fine men today.  We will never forget!

To all veterans:

Today we remember you. Those who have served and those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. We honor you with our thanks and our praise. You have shown us what bravery is in the face of undeniable hardship. You have laid the foundation of heroism for those who will come after you. We thank you for your will and for your strength to stand up and fight for your country and the people it represents. To you we owe a great debt of gratitude. Without you, the freedoms we take for granted would no longer be free. On this day, we remember. And we thank you!

The Following list was written up by my dad detailing the service of numerous family members who have served in the military.

My Grandfather Ray Hartsell, United States Army Allied Expeditionary Forces, World War I, suffered permanent lung damage in a Mustard Gas attack in France.

My Grandfather Jim Taylor, United States Navy, drove a landing ship that helped retake the Philippine Islands. His craft came under machine gun fire, killing a crewman at the front of the craft. Pop swung the boat around, using the bow as a shield, so Marines could shoot the enemy gunner who was on a buoy. On the way back the ship was hit by kamikaze attacks.

My father in law Herman Scroggs, US Army Air Corp, watched his friends go down in a B17 crash in North Africa.

My Uncle Jim Bailey, US Army, crossed the Rhine into Germany.

My Uncle Lewis Taylor, United States Army, suffered serious injuries in France when the tank he was walking behind was struck by a shell.

My Uncle Bobby Park, United States Marines, made it to the Yalu River in the Korean War, then barely escaped with his life when four million Chinese came across the border.

My Uncle John Butler had the B24 his was piloting shot down by Japanese. He held the burning plane in the air while his crew got out, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. Before he retired as a colonel he flew jets in Korea, and spy flights over Russia, and crash landed three planes.

The following words about "granddaddy" and the list of names were provided by my mom. This is a selection from a guest post you will find next week from my mom "Memories of My Dad" 

World War II took Dad away from the mountains he loved, and offered him adventures in
faraway lands that he had previously only dreamed about. He married my mother while
he was home on leave from the war. It was never easy to get Daddy to talk about the war,
but he made at least one good friend with whom he corresponded until he died. I have
pictures of Daddy and his friends, and a dog they adopted, and a young African boy that
liked to hang around their camp. After the war, Daddy started looking for ways to support
his young family, which consisted at the time of my mom and two older sisters. Farming
was his love, but not a consistent source of income with which to raise a family. He tried
his hand at an auto manufacturer in Ohio, but none of the family was happy up north.
Finally, in the early 50s, representatives of the federal government came to the mountains
to recruit workers to help build the “bomb plant” that would later be known as Savannah
River Site. Dad moved the family to South Carolina, and I was born a few years later.

Great uncles in WW2 - Clarence Scroggs (Navy, San Francisco); Frank Atkins (Army, Alaska); Wayne Crawford, Silvie Crawford

Korea - Paul Scroggs

Misc - Denny Scroggs - (Army, Japan)

Belton, Oscar, and Ray Hartsell

My Grandpa: James "Jim" Taylor
My Papa: James "Bo" Taylor
My Granddaddy: Herman Scroggs

1 comment:

Muskrat said...

Very cool! Loved reading these stories.

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