He always called me "my favorite Donnie" but I'm pretty sure I'm my Grandpa's favorite grandchild. Not because I make him so proud or anything but because I always call him on Veteran's Day. I don't know if there's any other event in his life that comes close to the significance of my Grandpa's time in the Pacific during WWII. So every Veteran's Day, I call to tell him I love him and to thank him for serving our country. Every year, Grandpa tells me he's going to the Veteran's breakfast at the Hy-Vee in their little town of Chariton, IA. This morning he told me they'd be swapping whoppers from their war days. I assured Grandpa I was convinced he could tell the biggest whopper.
I'd thought I'd heard most of Grandpa's war stories (several times) but today I heard a new one. Thanksgiving Day, 1944 was a 4 hour meal. Their ship was headed toward the Palalu Islands to take out the Japanese Military Base there but they were able to celebrate Thanksgiving while en route to their destination. While eating their meal, the Japanese were sending threatening messages over the radio along the lines of, "we're coming to get you" and they weren't empty threats. The Thanksgiving meal was so long because it kept getting interrupted by Kamikaze pilots.
Thanks for serving our country!