The discussions of illegal immigration always forget to examine a certain group of people. We consistently forget to look at those who have taken the legal path to immigration and/or citizenship, and the very long, frustrating, and, maddening experience it can be. - Michael Cortes
Civilians Richard and Joni Smith are a couple that share long family ties to the military and a fascination with genealogy.
This has led them to the discovery of several things in common they wouldn't otherwise know about one another: they have ancestors who fought on opposite sides of the American Revolution. Richard's ancestor, Phillipp Heimrich Stuber, was a German mercenary, fighting for the Redcoats. Joni's, John Mudgett, was an American.
My dad's uncle served in World War I, was gassed, died in the 1920s and was a member of The American Legion.
My dad served in the Army in Europe in World War II and was a member of the Legion.
My dad's two brothers both served in the Air Force, one in World War II, the other in Vietnam.
I served in the Army Reserve for six year during the Vietnam era and am a member of the Legion.
My mother was the youngest of 10 siblings - she was born in 1919, to give you an idea of the time frame.
The three oldest siblings served during the Great War (World War I): Frank Hall, U.S. Army ambulance driver, Austro Italian front; George Hall, a seaman, served with Naval Aviation; and Jeanette Hall, a yeomanette.
Four of the younger siblings served during World War II and after: Dr. Charles H. Hall, medical officer, U.S. Army, North Africa and Italy; Dr. Reina Hall, U.S. Army nurse, North Africa and Italy; William Hall, U.S. Army Air Corps, U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S.
My dad, Staff Sgt. Wesley F. Celius, was one of 2,997 combat veteran troops who volunteered for Merrill's Marauders. He was one of 130 who came out of the Burma jungles alive, but was not one who was not hospitalized. (Only two were not.)
Dad never talked about his time spent there, except for the fact that he got malaria and dysentery and was hospitalized.
My father was drafted in 1943 at 32. His civilian employment was as a certified public accountant. He was sent to air gunner's school at Greensboro, N.C. Before he was sent overseas he received orders to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. From there he was sent to Fort Sheridan in Chicago. For the next three years he was engaged in contract termination negotiations with Ford, GM, Chrysler and Boeing. By the start of 1944 the Army Air Forces had already contracted for more aircraft than were necessary.
Three times he applied for command of an Air Sea Rescue PT Boat.
For 11 of the 16 Davis children, serving in the military served as a path out of their hometown, Wetumpka, Ala., where opportunities were few and far between in the 1950s and 1960s. Between them, they can boast more than a century and a half of service.
"There was nothing going on in Wetumpa," said Lebronze Davis, Vietnam veteran and Legionnaire. "You had the cotton mill, you had the logging company, sawmill, or you stayed and worked on the farm.
My great-uncle, Isaac Jacob (I.J.) Harvey, lies at rest beneath a simple, white cross in Arlington National Cemetery. He fell on the fields of France in World War I.
My father, Royce Harold Harvey, was an "Alligator Marine," having fought on the beaches of Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Tarawa and others. His older brother, Rollo S. Harvey, was also a Marine who fought in the carnage of Iwo Jima. Their younger brother, Jack G. Harvey, was a Seabee, who served during the latter part of the war.
I do genealogy, and my daughter always jokes and says our family tree is camouflaged. It is true that we have several generations of our family that have served their country.
My great-grandfather on my mother's side was a sergeant major in the British Army during World War I, my mother was in the English Women's Auxillary Territorial Service during World War II, and my father was in the U.S. Army Air Corps. They met in England and married there in 1945. I have followed in my parent's footsteps and have also served. I was in the Signal Corps in the U.S.
My fourth-great-grandfather served as a captain of Connecticut volunteers during the French-Indian War. He participated in the Siege of Lewisboro, Nova Scotia.
My third-great-grandfather served as a captain in the Connecticut militia during the Revolutionary War. He saw action along the Hudson River, from Peekskill to Fort Miller in Saratoga County, N.Y.
My father served in the Marine Corps as a machine gunner in World War I and saw action in Haiti when sent there to quell the native uprisings.
In the limited amount of family history I have delved into, I have found family members in every branch of military service.
Great-great-great-grandfather, Continental Army
Great-uncle, Navy, Spanish-American War
Great-uncle, Army cavalry officer, World War I
Grandfather, Merchant Marines, World War I
Father, Army Air Corps, World War II and Korea
Mother, Coast Guard, World War II
Two uncles, Army, World War II
Uncle, Marine Corps, World War II
Father-in-law, China marine and Marines, World War II
Myself, Navy, 1965-1971
Great-uncle: Frank Branigan, World War I, U.S. Army, killed in action in France.
Second cousin: Roy Hydecker, World War II, U.S. Marine Corps GSGT, D-Day invasion force, killed in action in St. Lo, France.
Cousin: Bill DeSetto, Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force communications, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Uncle: Frank DeSetto, U.S. Navy, Korea.
Cousin: Ernest DeSetto, U.S. Navy, late 1950s.
Third cousin: Frank DeSetto, Vietnam, U.S. Marine Corps, shot in the eye and survived with glass eye.
Me: James E. Branigan, Vietnam, U.S. Navy 1967-1971, aviation machinist mate, VR24 Naples and USS Wasp CV18.
I had heard stories of my grandfather in World War I. My father and his brothers served in World War II; one of them did not return. My uncle on my mother's side did three tours in Vietnam. My poor father had five daughters. I joined the Army in October 1974 and got out in February 1978.
Durning my enlistment I was the first and only airborne female at Fort Lewis, Wash. I was the first military female to jump into Alaska and Panama.
Three of my four children joined. In 2004 my twin daughters were in Iraq. They were both diesel mechanics.
CW5 (ret.) James E. Revels served 37 years in the regular Army. His specialty was in logistics and he was stationed with various units from field artillery to military intelligence. He attended the U.S. Army School, Europe's school of logistics, where he made such good grades that he was invited back to be an instructor. With every unit he served with subsequently, he was responsible for all the ordering of supplies, of great value in some cases.
My name is John Farrow, and I am proud of my family and extended families' service to the USA. My dad's uncle, Allie Farrow, served in the Army as a recruit camp instructor just prior to our involvement in World War I. My dad, Alexander Farrow, served in France and Belgium during World War I in the Yankee Division, the 26th Inf. Div. He was a sergeant in the artillery. He led a small group of forward observers into no mans'land, where they relayed information regarding the effect of shell fire from their batteries.
My father served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 time as a medic; his brother John served during the Korean War.
My brother served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. I served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam, and was in country in 1967.
My oldest son served in the U.S. Army and was in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. My second son served in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm and was stationed in Germany.
One of my daughters served in The U.S. Air Force, stationed in Germany during Desert Storm, and I had one granddaughter serve in the U.S. Air Force.
William "Vern" Williams' niece and nephews and Uwe Carstens kneel beside his grave in Winfred, S.D. From left to right: Gary Williams, Kay Julius, Uwe Carstens and Ken Williams
When Uwe Carstens knelt in front of William "Vern" Williams' grave in Winfred, S.D., it was a trip that took him decades into the past, halfway around the world and brought him full circle.
People ask why the military active, reserve, guard, veteran, retiree and their families get so upset with those who choose to buy a uniform, place a whole host of decorations and badges on it then prance around as if they actually accomplished what they are showing.
The First Amendment allows these impostors the freedom to express themselves as they see fit. If they choose to express appreciation for the military by wearing the uniform of a particular service then they are free to do so.
Photo | Shane James III, Philip Manning's great-grandson, poses in front of the American flag.
As he expected, Philip Manning was drafted in 1954. His entrance into military service was somewhat typical. Somewhere along the line his name had been misspelled.
"The whole time I was in the Army it was spelled with two Ls. Do you think I could ever get that corrected?" Manning joked.
He headed to Missouri for basic and then to Camp Gordon, Ga., for second basic training, which was in the Signal Corps.
My name is Robert D. Kowell. I'm a member of American Legion Post 1980 in Woodland Park, Colo. This story is about my dad, who was in the Army in World War I.
He was blown up in an ammo truck in France, I believe. He survived the ordeal. He had been sprayed with shrapnel in his back and did not want to go to the medic for care, knowing he would be removed from his unit; so another soldier patched him up and went back to fighting.
Joseph Schreiber returned to the United States near the end of World War I, having been sent to Germany as a child after the death of his parents. Though he missed his opportunity to serve, he would see several of his sons go on to fulfill their duty.
Joe Schreiber served 32 years in the Navy, retiring as a master chief. Les Schreiber also joined the Navy, serving for 20 years before also retiring as a master chief, brother John Schreiber said. Their step-brother, Larry Steuber, died at Pearl Harbor. He wasn't yet 20 years old, John said.