I've been hearing a lot from certain "conservatives" about how "we are in a war" and "I have battle scars" and that sort of rhetorical baloney. Can I just say here and now: THAT IS THE MOST STUPID THING I'VE EVER HEARD! It is insulting to the men who died on the beaches of Normandy, in the jungles of Guadalcanal, in the deserts of Iraq, the hills around Gettysburg, the towns in the colonies, or wherever our brave young men were the last stand against tyranny. They lost their lives, they lost their buddies they lost their youth and innocence. My standing on a corner speaking to a "tea party" group just doesn't quite sound as desparate. I love our veterans so much and am so grateful and thankful for them. I can't imagine putting myself anywhere near them.
I'm a radio guy so the only thing I can do that in some small way shows my gratitude is to dedicate a day to them.
Once again this year we have the special privilege of talking to Veterans of all eras on our radio show. We have done this for 4 years now and it has become my favorite day of the year. I laugh, I cry and I just flat out enjoy every minute.
What we do is invite any Veteran to call in and tell us their branch, the years they served and a short story of their service.
We of course push the World War II vets to the front of the line as, sadly, we are losing 1,500 or so a day right now (Korean vets are joining them at a pretty fast pace now too). For many of them, this is the one time they tell their stories and over the years we have had some incredible stories of sacrifice and heroics!
One of our favorites is Dan Brady, a Navy vet who calls us every year. He is a wonderful man who's stories have warmed the hearts of our listeners for years. He is facing, as he said: "The big C" right now and might not be able to be with us today. I am praying that Ol' Dan can join us.
Then there's Vern from Stayton. A great man who always has something great to tell us about. He suffered greatly in World War II.
I also love hearing from Fred Thompson, a Vietnam Vet who carried a lot of body bags out of hot spots. A true American Hero!
Last year I met Herb Weatherwax, a Pearl Harbor vet. We hope to have him call today as well.
Here is a short bio on Herb and a picture of me with him last February.
Herb Weatherwax was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i on June 3, 1917. He was drafted into the United States Army on June 6, 1941. After basic training, he was assigned to the 298th Infantry regiment located at Schofield Barracks on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i.
On December 7, 1941, Private Weatherwax was on a weekend pass when he heard an announcement over a local radio station that Pearl Harbor was under attack by Japanese forces. The announcement instructed all military personnel to report immediately to their duty stations. On his way to Schofield Barracks Mr. Weatherwax witnessed the destruction at Pearl Harbor and Wheeler Army Airfield.
In 1944, Mr. Weatherwax left Hawai’i for training in the Signal Corps. He was reassigned to the 272nd Infantry regiment, 69 th Division, located at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Shipped to Europe, the 69 th entered combat at the Eifel Forest in Belgium in early 1945. From Belgium Mr. Weatherwax’s regiment moved inland to join up with Russian troops at a town called Torgau located on the west bank of the Elbe River in western Germany.
In 1996, Mr. Weatherwax joined the National Park Service Volunteer program. He has also been an active participant in the Pearl Harbor Survivor Series part of the Witness to History videoconferencing program. This series enables students on both a national and international level to learn about the December 7 the attack by directly communicating with Survivors.
More great Pearl Harbor vets
So, if you have some time today from Noon to Three and you might be a little tired of the usual endless political yak, tune to AM 1430 KYKN or listen online at www.1430kykn.com or watch our webcam at www.bpshow.com sit back, relax and enjoy listening to the men and women who made it possible for us to have the freedoms that we have.
God Bless America and God Bless Our Veterans!