The Bracelet

For 35 years, Patsy Bellard lit a candle each day and said a prayer for a man she never met. His name, William Kinkade, is inscribed on a metal bracelet she’s worn since 1971. One day while Bellard was at work in Nacogdoches, Texas, a high school student came by selling POW/MIA bracelets for $2. She had a choice of names. The spelling of Kinkade, with two k’s caught her attention. “That’s the one I decided to pick,” she said. When the prisoners of war were released in 1973, Bellard watched and waited to see if Kinkade would step off the plane. But the young Air Force captain from Corvallis never did. “I guess you can take it off now,” Bellard’s husband said. “He’s still MIA,” Bellard replied. “As long as his status doesn’t change, I’m gonna keep it." continued...

 

Coming In On a Wing And a Prayer

Sixty years after-the-fact, Erskine Arbeiter is finally being awarded his long overdue two Purple Hearts. The then Staff Sergeant Arbeiter, was a B-17 waist (side) gunner, with the 369th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group, 8th Army Air Corps during World War II from October 1944 until May 1945. On 1 February 1945 and 19 March 1945, Sergeant Arbeiter and his crew were flying combat missions over enemy-occupied Europe when their B-17 came under heavy artillery fire and sustained direct hits. On 1 February 1945 Sergeant Arbeiter sustained a head injury and on 19 March 1945 he received a foot injury as a result of flak from enemy fire. With each of his injuries Erskine refused to remain in the hospital and as a result, the doctor refused issue his two Purple Hearts due him at that time. Following Arbeiter’s discharge there were several attempts made to obtain his two Purple Hearts but for various reasons they all failed until this last try. continued...

 

Veterans Day: The 11th Hour – 11th Day – 11th Month

The 11th hour, the 11th day of the 11th month have a tender significance to our Great Country, Veterans and Citizenry. It was the end of World War I, supposedly the war to end of all wars. As can be seen, through this brief history of Veterans Day, it took Congress 8 years before officially recognizing Veterans following World War I in November 1918. Many States began paying tribute to Veterans immediately following WWI perhaps putting pressure on Congress to officially pass the beginning resolution of what was then known as a Legal Holiday, then Armistice Day, later to become Veterans Day. continued...

 

Hellish Hawaiian Morning

December 7, 1941, the news began crackling over the radios that the Japanese attacked at 0800 hours. What had begun as the normal quiet Sunday morning of sleeping in or going to church services with some ships bands playing on the decks or recuperating from the Saturday night parties, all hell was to break loose and change the course of life forever. Many civilians asked each other, where is Pearl Harbor? Perhaps up to this time, only the rich and famous knew where Honolulu, Oahu, of ... continued...

 

Quiet Heroes

Some people have been a bit offended that actor Lee Marvin is buried in a grave alongside 3 and 4 star generals at Arlington National Cemetery. His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service (USMC). Nothing else. Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time, why the heck does he rate burial with these guys? Well, following is the amazing answer. continued...

 

Heroes Indeed

These four heroes were active ministers within their communities coming from different parts of the country. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the four enlist in the U.S. Army as Chaplains. They first become acquainted when they were assigned to Chaplains School at Harvard but following graduation were given duty at different Army Bases. In October of 1942 they were reunited when they were transferred to Camp Myles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts. In January 1943 the four Chaplains were given orders to embark to Greenland on a troop transport ship. continued...

 

The Bataan Death March and Beyond

Everybody knew the war with Japan was coming, but when it did come it literally "caught us with our shorts down" as stated by Alf Larson a survivor of the Bataan Death March. On Dec. 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and incapacitated the Pacific Fleet. On the same day (except divided by the International Dateline) Japan attacked The Philippines, Malaya and Hong Kong ... continued...

Bataan Death March – POW’s Cadmus, Weikel & Kleiwer

Hello…yes, I am Maribel Cadmus…yes, George Cadmus was my husband… yes, I knew Ivan Weikel…yes, I have met David Kleiwer…yes, Ivan was a survivor of the Bataan Death March…yes, Ivan and George were in the prison camps in the Philippines…yes, George and Ivan were transferred to a Japanese POW camp where they joined Marine fighter pilot David Kleiwer…yes, Ivan has a son, Neil Weikel.. continued...

"Gold Star Dad" Dale Schrock

With his hands held to his head he said, “I am sorry, but it still gets to me, even today after 33 years, I just can’t help it” as he wiped away the tears.The anger has faded some but the tenderness and love for his son, Vernon Earl Schrock, has not dimmed in this “Gold Star Dad” Dale Schrock. continued... 

Reflections

Below are reflections/articles written about local veteran's from or about their service to our country. Most of them are written by Les Whittle, founder and current advisor for the Memorial. You can read the full stories by clicking on the titles or the blue "continued" link at the end of each paragraph

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