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10/15/2021 7:52:46 PM
Posted: 9/4/2015 11:54:17 AM EDT
I called him Mac mainly because we both have a McX name. I've been called Mac by various people my entire life so I guess it was just natural. He was an old fellow that came in to our dealership to get his Astro van worked on. every once in awhile he'd buy something from us in Parts. The Service and Parts cashier window sat directly in front of my front parts counter. The whole department was pretty much open to that area anyway (poorly designed, no doubt), so all of my guy's goofy antics were on display for every Service department customer to see...lol. We didn't see him all the time, but he'd come through every few months or so and, at first, he was pretty straight faced and serious. It didn't take to long for one of my guys to loosen him up, though.

Ted was my front counter guy and an old ass retired Navy man. He served on carriers for a long time and ultimately ran the aircraft parts room on one. I don't remember the name of his boat but I do know he was stationed on it while it was over in Vietnam. He was fucking squared away and didn't suffer fools but Ted was a jokester of the highest order. Mac wore an Army hat into the store once and Ted ALWAYS wore his Navy hat. Ted poked at him and Mac poked back. Before too long they had us rolling. Every time Mac came in, we'd start BSing with him...usually starting with Ted saying something derogatory about the Army. Don't think this was unique to Mac, BTW. We had our fair share of people we enjoyed visiting with that came through there. Just about every one got a nickname and if they were ex-military non-Navy, Ted would talk shit about their branch. If they WERE Navy, he'd find a way to tell them that they had an easy assignment compared to him. It was always hilarious.  

After a few times in the place, Mac stayed a little longer at the counter and would shoot the shit for a little while before heading out. We never talked military stuff, other than him and Ted goofing on each other. He talked to Ted about his days working at the Port of Houston and sometimes he'd ask me about how my racing was going, etc. Stuff like that. I'd see Mac in town occasionally and we'd stop for a couple of minutes and say our hellos. We weren't friends by any means. Just friendly when we saw each other.

One day he came by and wanted to get a part for his van. He and his wife were headed into Houston and stopped by on the way out to see if we had it in stock or had to order it. Ted was having a hard time figuring out what he needed, and I was headed outside anyway, so I said, "C'mon, Mac. I'll go out there with you and you can show me what we're looking for". I followed him out to the parking lot and as we're walking up to his Astro van I saw his license plate. Medal of Honor recipient. I was fucking stunned.

Me - "Holy shit Mac...uh....Mr. McNer.....I mean sir. You won a CMH?"
Mac - "Yeah, but don't start calling me sir."
Me - "Well, OK, but damn. I mean I think there are more lottery winners that CMH holders....I had no idea..."
Mac - "I know several men that should have one that don't..."

I could never call him Mac after that. Just "sir" or "Mr. McNerney". He never paid a cent for anything after that, either. I never asked him for specifics of his service after seeing the plate, and he never offered. I figured I would just look it up instead of bothering him about it. I kind of got the impression that the license plate wasn't his idea and didn't want him to feel awkward answering a ton of questions he's probably had asked 100 times before.

I got transferred to a bigger store in another city not too long after that but I saw him a few times in our town still. His wife had passed on the year I transferred. He followed her in 2010. One of the guys I used to work with called me up this morning. "Hey, did you know they made a documentary about Mac?" I had no idea. "Yeah, it was done in 2010, the year he passed. Called Honor in the Valley of Tears." I checked out the trailer for it on my iPotato and sure enough, there's Mac. I'm going to try to find the full vid later this evening.

I felt like sharing this because I know there are several of you that would appreciate knowing about this man and his service. I hope y'all enjoy his Wiki page and the movie trailer and hopefully have a chance to watch the documentary.


David H. McNerney - Wiki Page


Link Posted: 9/4/2015 11:59:09 AM EDT
Wow.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:01:50 PM EDT
Great story OP.

Thanks for sharing it.

Also RIP Mr. McNerney.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:02:46 PM EDT
Damn.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:02:58 PM EDT
Wow, great story.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:03:59 PM EDT
Very cool OP. Thank you for sharing. You got to meet and be friends with a true hero.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:04:19 PM EDT
Wow, that trailer leaves you hanging and wanting more!

Thanks for posting and RIP First Sergeant.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:05:42 PM EDT
pet peeve, so did he win it or earn it?
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:07:20 PM EDT
Wow. Hell of a dude from what I just read.

Not every day you get to meet a recipient of the MOH
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:07:25 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Great story OP.

Thanks for sharing it.

Also RIP Mr. First Sergeant McNerney.

View Quote




Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:08:32 PM EDT
Mac, the CMoH winner recipient

Fixed your title for you.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:12:03 PM EDT
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:19:01 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Wow.
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Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:20:24 PM EDT
So this as a related video:
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:22:29 PM EDT
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Quoted:
pet peeve, so did he win it or earn it?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Quoted:
pet peeve, so did he win it or earn it?


Quoted:
Mac, the CMoH winner recipient

Fixed your title for you.


Roger that. I'll get it fixed.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:23:28 PM EDT
Most impressive.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:24:59 PM EDT
Hell of a story
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:31:05 PM EDT
Dusty, very very dusty.  It's sad seeing these heroes leave us one by one.  What a remarkable man.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:47:03 PM EDT
thanks for sharing!
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:14:35 PM EDT
Amazing how humble those recipients are!

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 2:51:44 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Dusty, very very dusty.  It's sad seeing these heroes leave us one by one.  What a remarkable man.
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Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:08:39 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Dusty, very very dusty. It's sad seeing these heroes leave us one by one.  What a remarkable man.
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Yes, I agree.

On a related note, my Parts department secretary at the new store I was transferred to is a sweet ol' gal that started with the company in 1972. And yes, she's still with me. Her husband was a POW in Korea, part of the "Namwon Bunch". In addition to the PoW Medal noted in the link below, he was awarded the Bronze Star (with "V"). Joe passed on a few years ago. He was another really great guy that's gone now.

Corporal Joe T. Barrington
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:17:11 PM EDT
On his third tour in 1966...wow.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:32:14 PM EDT
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Quoted:
pet peeve, so did he win it or earn it?
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He was presented it
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:36:35 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.
View Quote


Not to hijack the thread, but myself and 2 of my guys did exactly that. Fotunately, it was some ammo guys attempt at a joke and the grenades were dummies, but we were in Qatar and it was 3 days after the fragging incident in Kuwait...but thats a story for another time. Just saying uncommon valor is more common than you think.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:45:43 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Not to hijack the thread, but myself and 2 of my guys did exactly that. Fotunately, it was some ammo guys attempt at a joke and the grenades were dummies, but we were in Qatar and it was 3 days after the fragging incident in Kuwait...but thats a story for another time. Just saying uncommon valor is more common than you think.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.


Not to hijack the thread, but myself and 2 of my guys did exactly that. Fotunately, it was some ammo guys attempt at a joke and the grenades were dummies, but we were in Qatar and it was 3 days after the fragging incident in Kuwait...but thats a story for another time. Just saying uncommon valor is more common than you think.


A buddy of mine was in Iraq in '04.  He told me a similar story, they got a new TL and decided to fuck with him.  Had mad respect for him after he jumped on and laid on a grenade for an eternity, with no idea it was a dummy.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:59:00 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.
View Quote


It still happens, although sometimes the SECDEF is a dick and only awards a Navy Cross for it.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:00:43 PM EDT
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Quoted:


A buddy of mine was in Iraq in '04.  He told me a similar story, they got a new TL and decided to fuck with him.  Had mad respect for him after he jumped on and laid on a grenade for an eternity, with no idea it was a dummy.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.


Not to hijack the thread, but myself and 2 of my guys did exactly that. Fotunately, it was some ammo guys attempt at a joke and the grenades were dummies, but we were in Qatar and it was 3 days after the fragging incident in Kuwait...but thats a story for another time. Just saying uncommon valor is more common than you think.


A buddy of mine was in Iraq in '04.  He told me a similar story, they got a new TL and decided to fuck with him.  Had mad respect for him after he jumped on and laid on a grenade for an eternity, with no idea it was a dummy.


That shit's fucked up!!!

WTF???


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Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:07:50 PM EDT
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Quoted:
So this as a related video:
https://youtu.be/YTwIfI5ILqc
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I've spent many hours going through that channel.

Great story, OP. Thank you for sharing.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:17:42 PM EDT
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Quoted:


It still happens, although sometimes the SECDEF is a dick and only awards a Navy Cross for it.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.


It still happens, although sometimes the SECDEF is a dick and only awards a Navy Cross for it.


Sergeant Rafael Peralta

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:22:49 PM EDT
Nice.

The only MoHs I have met where all tombstones showing their resting places.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:28:52 PM EDT
Wow, thanks for posting

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:48:05 PM EDT
I have long wanted to speak someone who received either the Medal of Honor, or Britain's Victoria Cross.  But I would never be so presumptuous as to bother one of them by walking up and simply introducing myself.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:55:05 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.


It still happens, although sometimes the SECDEF is a dick and only awards a Navy Cross for it.


Sergeant Rafael Peralta



Wow that dude totally deserves the MoH. He died an American hero.

From wikipedia:

Peralta reportedly served the United States with enthusiasm and patriotism: "In his parents' home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah he wrote to his 14-year-old brother, 'Be proud of me, bro ...and be proud of being an American.'"[5]


edit- He was born in Mexico and earned his citizenship while serving in the Marines.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:05:45 PM EDT


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Nice.





The only MoHs I have met where all tombstones showing their resting places.


View Quote





 





I met Colonel Robert Nett several times and shook his hand when I worked in the S3 shop in 3 BN-11 INF.


































Citation












He commanded Company E in an attack against a reinforced enemy battalion which had held up the American advance for 2 days from its entrenched positions around a 3-story concrete building. With another infantry company and armored vehicles, Company E advanced against heavy machinegun and other automatic weapons fire with Lt. Nett spearheading the assault against the strongpoint. During the fierce hand-to-hand encounter which ensued, he killed 7 deeply entrenched Japanese with his rifle and bayonet and, although seriously wounded, gallantly continued to lead his men forward, refusing to relinquish his command. Again he was severely wounded, but, still unwilling to retire, pressed ahead with his troops to assure the capture of the objective. Wounded once more in the final assault, he calmly made all arrangements for the resumption of the advance, turned over his command to another officer, and then walked unaided to the rear for medical treatment. By his remarkable courage in continuing forward through sheer determination despite successive wounds, Lt. Nett provided an inspiring example for his men and was instrumental in the capture of a vital strongpoint.


 
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:13:55 PM EDT
I was fortunate enough to me Mr. Walter Ehlers when I was at Camp Pendleton. I was working at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton EOD Shop when two gentlemen rang the doorbell and asked for a tour of our weapons and ordnance museum. I obliged, and they presented me with their business cards when we were done.

SSG Ehlers


D-DAY
JUNE 6, 1944


As the men of the 1st Division were training for D-Day, the company commander called Roland and Walter in to meet with him.  He told them that for the first time, they would be separated and placed in different units.  He told the young soldiers there was only a fifty-per cent chance that they would survive the pending invasion, and that Walter would be transferred to Company L as a squad leader.  
Walter went to his new unit and worked hard to prepare his men for the coming invasion.  He and Roland managed to get together one last time in Southampton to talk about their family and wish each other luck.  They both knew they would be participating in the impending landing.  "We'll meet up on the beach," they promised, then went their separate ways to join 170,000 other soldiers as they loaded the ships that would take them across the channel to attack Normandy.

The First Division landed at Omaha beach.  Walter's craft hit a sand bar and the men had to jump into water over their head to make their way to the beach.   A few hundred yards further down the beach Roland's Company was also landing.   There was no time to worry for each other, each brother having responsibilities of their own to attend.  Walter began to lead his squad off the beach.  They were taking fire from enemy bunkers on the bluffs overlooking the beach, and Walter knew the only chance of survival was to keep his men together and attack the high ground.  He led them by his example.  After a 6-hour battle to reach the hills, they finally broke through the German defenses.  Walt's courage and leadership that day saved his platoon and earned him the Bronze Star Medal.  Then, as night fell, he went looking for Roland.
In the darkness and devastation of D-Day at Omaha, it was difficult to find anyone, but at last Walter found Roland's Platoon Sergeant.  He asked about Roland, and was told only that his brother was "Missing In Action".    Worried, Staff Sergeant Walter Ehlers returned to his squad and the fighting that still lay ahead.

In the days that followed, the fighting moved inland as the brave soldiers who had landed at Normandy worked to dislodge the enemy from their fortifications among the hedgerows,  dense thickets and rows of vegetation that separated farms across the country side.  The fighting was bitter, dangerous, and very costly.

By June 9th Walt Ehlers' squad was far ahead of most other Allied troops, and Sgt. Ehlers himself was at the head of his men.  In an early morning attack his company was pinned down in an open field by fire from machine-gun nests and two mortar pits.  Without orders Sgt. Ehlers jumped to his feet and headed towards the first machine-gun nest.  Suddenly a patrol of 4 enemy confronted him.  Quickly the Sergeant killed all four, then proceeded to advance on and single-handedly destroy the machine-gun nest and its crew of eight enemy.   He called to his squad to move up and join him as he turned his attention towards the mortar pits that threatened to destroy the company.  Before continuing the advance he gave an unusual order...."Fix bayonets".  Later he recounted, "It had a psychological effect on the Germans.  They looked horrified and started running."  Ehlers knocked out that position, then his men started taking fire from yet another machine-gun nest.  Again, at a point ahead of everyone else, Sergeant Ehlers advanced on and single-handledly knocked out that enemy position.

By the following day Sergeant Ehlers and his platoon were so far ahead of everyone else they were literally surrounded by Germans.  The platoon was ordered to withdraw, and Sergeant Ehlers' squad assumed the responsibility of covering the withdrawal of the rest of the unit.  Sergeant Ehlers and his BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) man stood back to back to draw enemy fire upon themselves and rain effective fire against the enemy to cover the safe withdrawal of the platoon.  First the BAR man was shot and wounded, then a rifle round struck Sergeant Ehlers in the back.  Ehlers turned quickly and saw the sniper that had wounded him and was able to kill the enemy soldier.  Then, despite his own wound, he carried the stricken BAR man from the battlefield before returning to recover the badly needed BAR.

The medics began treating Sergeant Ehlers' wound and quickly learned that the bullet had hit him in the side, glanced off a rib, and exited from his pack.  Inside that pack was a picture of Walter and Roland Ehlers' mother, and the bullet had torn away the edged of the folder it was in.

Sergeant Ehlers refused to be evacuated.  His wounds treated and bandaged, he returned to his squad.   He later said he didn't want any of his men to be hurt or killed, and he felt his obligation was to be there to lead and protect them.

By July, after a month of fighting, Sergeant Ehler's squad was holed up in an abandoned farm house when he received an unusual visitor.  It was the company commander from his brother Roland's company.  He came bearing sad news.  Roland had died at Omaha beach.  As his landing craft approached a mortar round had hit the ramp instantly killing the older brother.   Walter was devastated.  He saluted the officer and said, "Okay", then found a place of privacy to weep unashamed.

Over the coming weeks Sergeant Ehlers continued to do his job, leading his men.  He was wounded three more times and sent to the hospital twice.  Then he learned he was to receive the Medal of Honor.   It was presented in the field in Paris on December 14, 1944 by Lieutenant General John C. H. Lee.  Then the young hero was flown home for celebrations in Manhattan, Kansas and Christmas with his family.  But it bothered him to think of his men spending Christmas in the field, facing the dangers of a desperate enemy.  He requested and received permission to return, finishing the war with the men of his battalion.  Said Mr. Ehlers at a patriotic event in Pueblo, Colorado in 1995:

"Liberty is worth fighting for, and sometimes worth dying for."

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Walt was the last surviving D-Day MOH recipient and sadly passed away on February 20th last year at the age of 92.



The other gentleman that day was Vince Weatherby (the grandson of Roy Weatherby)


Mr. Weatherby even gave me an invitation to the Adventurers Club in LA.


Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:17:14 PM EDT
Awesome.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:40:25 PM EDT


WOW, now THAT is a story that needs to be told!
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:57:35 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Great story OP.

Thanks for sharing it.

Also RIP Mr. McNerney.

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Always like hearing these stories. Never a waste of time, unlike documentaries on politicians
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 7:16:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 7:25:31 PM EDT
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Quoted:
I was fortunate enough to me Mr. Walter Ehlers when I was at Camp Pendleton. I was working at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton EOD Shop when two gentlemen rang the doorbell and asked for a tour of our weapons and ordnance museum. I obliged, and they presented me with their business cards when we were done.

....
View Quote


Very cool!



Link Posted: 9/4/2015 7:46:37 PM EDT
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Quoted:
pet peeve, so did he win it or earn it?
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He earned it.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 7:49:15 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Pretty cool. I once went through a list of Medal of Honor recipients and was amazed at how many were awarded it for throwing themselves on a grenade or mine to save their comrades.

I wonder today how many soldiers would do that, something done without thought, knowing fully it will result in your own death to save your crew.
View Quote


Several have.  The American soldier of today can hold his head as high as any of his predecessors.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 7:50:32 PM EDT
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Quoted:

Always like hearing these stories. Never a waste of time, unlike documentaries on politicians
View Quote

I'm glad y'all liked it.

I enjoyed telling about Ted, as well. He was a salty old sumbitch a lot of the time when he wasn't fucking with people. A good example is the water cooler cups. We had one of those coolers with a spigot on the back counter that the techs used because we didn't have a water fountain. Ted kept up with the cups. He wouldn't just set out a stack....oh hell no. He had a list of the techs and would hand them out one cup each per day. Wrote their name on each one with a sharpie. If a tech came back in wanting a second cup he'd tell them to fuck off...lol. "You're costing the company money..", he'd growl. His paperwork was always right, his area always clean and he never failed to show up to work 5 minutes early. He was so proud of being in the Navy....all he talked about was how they did it in the Navy this way, they did it in the Navy that way. I will admit that I learned a hell of a lot from that ol' squid.

He passed in '09. I miss him a lot.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 8:28:59 PM EDT
Walt came back another time with another WWII vet for another tour. I made sure to get a picture the second time.

Walt is on the left, I'm in the middle and the Gentleman on the right was a Marine in WWII and went on to become a surgeon after the war. Another fine Vet that passed away a couple years ago.
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