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ronasimmons334 karma

Thankfully, you are not the first person to ask me this! About a week or so ago I saw a post on social media from my niece calling the corona virus the rona virus. I told her to stop, IMMEDIATELY! At the very least, perhaps I won't be asked if there's an H or a D in Rona.

ronasimmons313 karma

Yes. More than one surprise. Of course the graves registration unit I mentioned above. But also I learned of men in the SACO Navy. Almost no one, even WWII veterans know of their existence. They were men who were "embedded" as we say today behind the lines in CHINA! They were weather reporters and radio transmission (and interception), responsible in part for letting the Pacific Fleet know what weather was coming their way. No Weather Channel back then.

ronasimmons197 karma

All were quite credible, but still surprising. I think one of the things that stood out was how much everyone wanted to "fly." My own father included. He said getting his wings was magical. And it didn't hurt to attract the young women back then. But "almost to a man" the people I spoke with wanted to be pilots. Flying was so new back then and seemed to them adventuresome. But, whether it was flat feet, needing glasses, or in one person's case developing excruciating headaches as planes changed altitude, they could not achieve their dreams. Still they served, doing whatever was asked.

ronasimmons164 karma

Most of those I spoke with said, as I mentioned, they did nothing special. They all refused to be called heroes and said the real heroes never came home. As an author, I had to dig and probe to find the nuggets that they might skip over. One gentleman was a social studies instructor -- and I thought, this one is going to be a challenge -- but we kept talking and I found the New York Times did an article about him because he was the first person the GI's found worthwhile to listen too. He helped them understand why they were going to war and what it meant. And later, he had to speak with Japanese men and women wounded after Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it was his skill as an instructor and knowledge of world events that enabled him to do this.

ronasimmons121 karma

After capturing my father's story, I met the daughter of another veteran who told me of her father's story. He served in the graves registration unit in Europe. I had not idea what that meant or how someone with such a horrific assignment could cope with it. I realized at that point how little I knew about the war, and especially about all the people who served in supply, technical roles, medical services, instructors, etc. They deserved to be heard.