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World war II Veteran, Thomas M. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My grandfather is a very strong and confident man. He never talked about hisexperience in World War II, and not until I asked him a question did I realize how sensitive he is about thetopic.

I was doing a report and wanted some insight. "Grand-pa, what do you think aboutPresident Kennedy?" I asked.

"You want to know my opinion?" he asked."He should never have been president in the first place."

"What?" I asked,surprised.

"He was president because he saved a couple of lives in World War II." Ithen found out that my grandfather had served, too.

My grandfather enlisted in the Army for fiveyears. In 1944, as commander of a fleet of PT boats, he went to New Guinea. At that time, the Japanese onthe islands depended on supply boats for food and water. The Americans were to stop the boats from gettingto the islands, starving the Japanese so when they attacked the island the Japanese would be too weak tofight.

One night they spotted a barge heading for the island. They quickly moved in to attack, notknowing there were two other barges slightly behind the first. After they captured the first, the other twoattacked. Barges were more powerful and durable than PT's; the lead PT exploded five minutes into thebattle. My grandfather went in and docked next to the boat. Under fire, he crossed the boat and pulled sixmen to safety. On his own boat, the gunman was trapped in the turret with bullets being continuously firedinto it. My grandfather went in and pulled him out. The man sustained 20 bullet wounds, many in hisstomach. Somehow, my grandfather avoided injury, not only in this perilous battle, but during the wholewar.

My grandfather thought the man had died, but 42 years later he received a call from him.He had been flown back to America and hospitalized for five years. When he was released, he married andnow has grandchildren of his own.

I never knew about this story, never even knew my grandfatherwas active in the war. He was awarded three battle stars and a Presidential citation from both America andNew Guinea. He is a hero, and he deserves that title.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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