Anyone that has ever read much of my postings knows I hold all Vets in very high regard and honor them at all times. One of my greatest thrills in life is to get to talk to a WW2 Veteran and listen to their knowledge and experiences. With that in mind I would like to relate a story to you that actually happened to me a couple years ago.......
Willa and I have ''custom cars'' and we go to the local car shows and cruise ins near Granite Falls. At one car show there was a black gentleman walking around looking at the cars. I saw him down the block as he ambled up the street toward us. On his cap was the words ''Tuskegee Airman 332nd Squadron. His ''T'' shirt had about the same logo on it and I just knew I was going to talk to some real history in the flesh. He came up to our 34 Benz and stopped and looked it over. He smiled and said he probably ''blew one of these up on a mission over Germany at one time or another back in 44. '' I almost wet my pants. This man was a Tuskegee airman that had flown with the 332nd in WW2. He told us about his 34 missions and the escorting of the B-17 bombers and how they had never lost a bomber to enemy fighters. I was actually spell bound by some of his tales and I truly admired this man. On veterans day one year I decorated the Benz with American flags, made a poster with his name on it with Tuskegee Airman 332nd Squadron on each door and I was ''busting with pride'' to carry him in the Veterans day parade. I learned that he did a lot of inspirational speaking at the local colleges and churches and that he was a big advocate of civil rights. I learned that he has a picture and a place of honor at our local airport in the Veterans section. I was so taken by this man that I carved him a cane with Tuskegee Airman 332nd Squadron highlighted on the cane. I put his name on the cane and God bless you for your service. I went ''full boar'' on the cane and Willa made a Presentation Case from red velvet and a gold sash for the cane. It was a work of art and some of my best work. I presented it to him and thanked him profusely for his service to my country. I was later told that he introduced the candidate Obama here in NC when he came in before the election.
On Veterans day a couple years ago I wrote an article about him on another chat network. I posted it and told how proud I was to know this man and what an honor it was to be in his presence. In the article I listed my e mail address and about a week later I got an e mail asking for my phone number. I sent it in an e mail and shortly thereafter I got a personal phone call from a man that had written and is writing the history of the ''Tuskegee Airman in WW2''. This man has the complete roster of names of all the pilots that flew with the Tuskegee Airman from its inception to its break up after the war. He can tell you the names and addresses of the ''living'' airmen and all the names of the ones that have gone to a ''greater reward''. He told me that ''The Majors name was not on any list he had''......... I promptly told him he was full of Sailor droppings and because I personally knew this man. I called him a lying ''S.weet O.ld B.oy'' and I would be glad to ''punch his lights out'', given the opportunity. He said he understood my feelings and he gave me some ''facts'' about ''The Major''....... He told me where this man lived, his address, phone number, what he looked like and that he was Corporal not a Major, He was in from 46 to 48. He never flew a Mustang and he was probably a tire changer on one. I apologized for my rhetoric and profanity to him. He said dont worry about it and that I was not the first to be duped by ''The Major'' and probably would not be the last. He told me that there was a ton of ''false hero's'' from WW2 and especially Korea and Viet Nam and not be ashamed that I was fooled. He said that they had called and written to ''The Major'' on many occasions insisting that he stop the charade but with little results. He told me that if ''The Major'' ever accepted money for his speaking engagements they would prosecute him for fraud. So far, he has taken no money that they can find.
Be it known that I would have still honored this man for his service to this country if he had told me that he was a Corporal and a mechanic after the war. No matter to me ....... I honor all Vets regardless of color or stripe or service attachment. They are all Veterans and they deserve our thanks.....
Since then I have made it a point to inform anyone that will listen that this man is a fraud and many have thanked me for the information I have given them. A few doubted my word so I would give them the phone number and address of the man I talked to and asked that they should call him to confirm what I had told them about ''The Major''..... Some called and then called me and apologized for their doubting me.
For what it is worth I shall refrain from using ''The Majors'' name in this writing. Anyone interested in ''who he is'' is welcome to PM me and I will tell his name.....
There is nothing that I honor more than the men and women that have defended this great country with their lives. Nothing can do me more ''proud'' than to sit at the feet of these Veterans and just listen to them talk about what they did and what they saw. They are hero's to me and I regard them with my greatest honor for their service. I will also say this ...
Any person that tries to steal the honor and sacrifice of these Veterans that have defended this great nation with their life and limb is lower than whale ''doo doo'' and that is on the bottom of the ocean.
(I was gonna use Whale Poop but I felt that was too strong_)
This is getting long and I am out of coffee.....
God bless our troops and bring them home safe and soon
God bless our Veterans. You guys gave us this country and our freedom.
(note to Admin..... if I have posted this before just delete it. I posted it on another ''chat'' but not on here as I remember)
ps. Yes, I was on the bridge with my flag on Vets day. I am trying to get some pix together and I will make a posting a little later.