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My morning, part 4


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#1 NanceUSMC

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:37 PM

The latest installment of my morning meetings with Don...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Don has been on vacation the last two weeks visiting family in Wisconsin... He called me this week, the day after her returned, to see if I was going to be at the donut shop this weekend... He said he wanted to talk more with me... He told me he had some stuff he wanted to tell me... I don't think he realizes just how much I've come to look forward to our weekend chats, nor just how much I'm learning from him...

This morning, he was excited to tell me that while he was on vacation, he got a call from a local reporter here with the Fort Worth Star Telegram... The reporter asked him several questions about his time in service, and was specifically doing an article regarding his upcoming Freedom Flight trip, where 60 veterans will accompany 60 students on a day long trip to Washington D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial there... He is very excited about the trip, and told me this morning he hopes it will lead to him being able to speak more with the kids of the area schools, and share his experiences with them... I think it's remarkable, that someone who has given so much, wants to continue to give... I hope I'm able to find a way that I can give back to him...

World War II Freedon Flight Project - FWST

He also wanted to talk about The Pacific... He watched it with his family while on vacation... He enjoyed it very much... He talked about some of the events in the show that he knew of first hand... Talked about how well done the show was... It was talking about the show that led him to talk about a few more of his personal experiences...

Today he told me of watching the ships from the side of Mount Suribachi... He told me that the third day he was on the island, he and a buddy sat on the side of the mountain, under cover from fire, and looked out to the ships just off the coastline... As they watched the ships laying down covering fire for the Marines fighting onland, they noticed one of the carriers come under attack by Japanese Kamikazes... Both he and his buddy were confident that the American carrier planes and escort ships would win this... He was very descriptive about how they were watching this naval battle unfolding in front of their very eyes, pulling hard for their countrymen and women aboard, fighting off the assault... Before long, however, to their shock and horror, one of the Kamikazes breeched the anti-aircraft fire, and scored a direct hit on the carrier... He saw the explosion and watched as the ship caught fire... Their optimism quickly turned to apprehension, and their apprehension into terror as a second plane hit the now crippled ship... He said they watched as the ship burned, and eventually sank... I asked him what ship it was... He said "That was the Bismarck Sea." He later found out that over 300 servicemen were lost in the attack he'd just witnessed...

USS Bismarck Sea

We talked for nearly 3 hours today, he and I, and the two other veterans that are there weekly (one a Korean War Vet, the other a Vietnam Vet)... Talked about everything from war stories, to families, to Bin Laden, to movies... The four of us talked right up to the point Don's wife called him and told him it was time for him to come home! He told her he'd be home in 5 minutes, talked for another 15, then scurried home to take care of his 'Honey-Do List'...

I did tell him today that he'd developed quite a following online in the stories he shares with me, that I share with all of you... I don't believe he understands just how many people read these updates and look forward to them... Nor do I believe he understands just how many people appreciate him and the experiences he shares... I hope that over time I am able to help him come to an understanding of how appreciated he is by everyone reading these...

Finally, I'll leave you with another photo he shared with me, taken before the battle... I'll continue to share with you all, as he continues to share with me...

Posted Image

#2 sunbunny

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:43 PM

Thank you, Nance!

#3 YourMomsLover

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:17 PM

Nance is quite possibly my favorite poster on the Huddle. After Boo.

#4 Skew

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:56 PM

Great Job Nance. You should record your conversations and write a book about him and the events on that island.

Your new calling.

#5 chef17

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:00 PM

Great Job Nance. You should record your conversations and write a book about him and the events on that island.

Your new calling.


This

#6 YourMomsLover

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:03 PM

You got any recent pics of you and Don?

edit: The flamethrower pic is badass IMO

#7 NanceUSMC

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:42 PM

Great Job Nance. You should record your conversations and write a book about him and the events on that island.

Your new calling.



Aww man, I wouldn't even know where to begin brother... But I have thought about getting a video camera and recording some of his stories... If we both get to go to Iwo, I'm definitely going to record it...

#8 Hawk

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:47 PM

awesome nance sounds like you two are going steady now!

#9 NanceUSMC

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:48 PM

You got any recent pics of you and Don?

edit: The flamethrower pic is badass IMO



Pictures of me and him together? No, I don't have any of those (yet)... Now, I've got some recent pics of him that I scanned for him, but they're a bit grainy...

#10 NanceUSMC

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:51 PM

awesome nance sounds like you two are going steady now!



Yeah, he's called me a time or two over the past month or so, just to chat and to see if I'm coming to the shop or not... The other two guys that are there are pretty neat guys, too... The three of them together are a riot...

#11 Hawk

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:57 PM

i am totally just jealous. sounds fricken awesome. you really should post a group pic of you and them

#12 NanceUSMC

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:20 AM

Here's some footage and narration on the attack he described witnessing to me



#13 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:32 AM

This is awesome Nance.

#14 PanthaSan

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:51 AM

It's a great thing you are doing, Nance.

I wouldn't be surprised if your coffee time turns into something bigger.

The book / video idea is awesome.

I have found personally that the bad things in life are easier to deal with when you get them out in the open with folks who won't judge you but are more interested to hear it from the perspective of the person who was there.

Do you guys meet on regular days? Is it a good donut shop?

#15 Panthers_Lover

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:23 AM

Aww man, I wouldn't even know where to begin brother... But I have thought about getting a video camera and recording some of his stories... If we both get to go to Iwo, I'm definitely going to record it...


I'm a writer ... I'd be happy to help.


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