A Big THANK YOU to Veterans and Service Men and Women - Veteran's Day 2011

Happy Veteran's Day! And a big thank you to veterans, soldiers, and all those amazing military families who miss their loved ones on a daily basis.

I've been thinking a lot about my family members who served today and wanted to honor them in some small way . My mom was kind enough to share some of what she knows about my grandparents so I've included it below. Thanks Mom!

(Juanita Pennington, 1945)

My grandmother, Juanita Pennington was member of the WAVES (Women's Navy) and worked in D.C. during WWII. (Photo above was taken in D.C.) One of her jobs was to decode Japanese messages. She was put on a train with other WAVES. Juanita had no idea where she was going or where she ended up due to the black-out curtains hanging in the train windows. She got off the train at a secret location and worked on the messages. The women would be brought back to their bases the next day.
My grandfather, Lawrence Pennington was a paratrooper during WWII. He was in Africa fighting Rommel (German) as well as parachuting into Europe where he was one of the first paratroopers to drop over the Ziegfreid line when Americans invaded Europe. Most of the men were killed as they parachuted, but he landed safely and hid under a snow-covered tree. He was discovered and held as a prisoner for nine months. The Russian army liberated him and when he came back home to the US he was sent to the Biltmore House Estate in North Carolina to recuperate due to his poor health.

(Clifford Parsons with my dad, Barry Parsons)

My grandpa, Clifford Parsons, was in the Army Engineers division who was responsible for building the roads and bridges before the rest of the troops advanced. He fought in Europe and was ordered to invade Normandy. A week before the invasion, his units' orders were changed or he would have been one of the first men there.

(Charles Hathcock)

Scott's grandfather, Charles Hathcock, also served during WWII. Charles came from a family of six siblings; he was the youngest of four brothers. At one point during WWII, all of the Hathcock brothers were serving in the war. Charles was recruited much later in the war and served in Austria Germany in two main roles. His first role was as a Military Police(MP) officer watching over German war prisoners. His second role gave him the opportunity to explore the German countryside as part of the communications reconstruction team. Charles helped hang telephone lines and open back up communications between German villages. He never had to fire a single shot in either role but instead left the war with an appreciation for the German Austrian people and their countryside.

My grandpa, Calvin Deeter, served in the Navy aboard the The USS Conklin DE439. There's a wonderful website dedicated to those who served on the Conklin: http://www.ussconklin.org/index.htm.


Anonymous said...

Such an amazing story to tell! Thank you for sharing. I am going to send this link to my Dad. He is a Vietnam vet. Thanks!!- nat

Mod Mom Furniture said...

Nat, thank you for your sweet comment. Thanks to your Dad, as well, for his service.

vladimir vasiljevic said...

Very nice story. The veterans had a hard life, but they fought for some ideas. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Tom Williams said...

Amazing that you had not only the stories to pass along but also those photos. I'm a little jealous because I have very little of my family's history and no photographs. I really enjoyed reading this post. I'll be back to read some of the past articles when I have more time. Thanks again for the post.

Tao of Garden said...

The country that respects its heroes is usually the country that makes history :)

david_4325@msn.com said...

Interesting stories.

wheatgerm said...

great post

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Sarah From Home said...

My husand is in the navy, and he is currently deployed, thank you for this post, and thank you to all the vets!!


Just Modern said...

Thanks for sharing your story...Really, really nice. And, great photographs!

Celebrity News said...

an amazing, inspiring story of our lives. God Bless All

Valentine said...

Hi, love your story. I used to date a guy named Gary Pennington, way back when. Haven't thought about him in years. Your story is wonderful.


Nina said...

thanks to people like your grandparents and all the other men and women who answered the call and did their part to keep us save and to those who do so today.

my dad served during Vietnam as a dentist and I Have served as well