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American Heroes

03/15/2013 03:46PM, Published by anonymous, Categories: In Print, Life+Leisure




Share Your Favorite Patriotic Story or Pay Tribute to a Loved One

I would like to honor my husband Robert Lee for the service he has given our country. He served in Vietnam and has continued to serve his country and family as an honorable man ever since. ~Sue Lee

TylerMy nephew, Tyler Vietti, gave his life in Afghanistan on August 30, 2009. You will never be forgotten. Your memory lives on forever in our hearts and memories. We love you and miss you more than words could ever express. ~Anna Vietti

enjoyablesOCT12LindaMy favorite patriotic story involves my dad, John Russell. He is 89 years old. He served in theArmyAir Corps in World War II. He was shot down over the Baltic Sea and was rescued by a German fisherman. He spent 13 months in a POW camp. Every morning, Dad puts up the American flag and also the POW flag. When he is finished, he stands back and salutes the flags. If you ask him what the flag meansto him he will tell you “freedom.” ~Linda Thompson

Howard20BallWe’d like to honor our dad, Howard Ball. Howard served in the Marines in the early 1960s. He was a marksman and he trained soldiers in the Philippines how to shoot. He is a proud American and he will forever be our hero. ~Lynn, Jenna, Weston and Hayden Ball

Russ20Angel20RileyMy wife and I are members of the Patriot Guard Riders. We have participated in many funeral escortsof lost veterans out to the Veterans’ Cemetery as well as welcome home flag lines for our troops returning home. They are all memorial events but the ones that continue to hold special places in our hearts are the funeral escorts for local heroes that were killed in action. As we ride in the escort, the show of patriotism from Shasta County residents is truly special. People in small and large groups standing on the side of the escort route holding flags and signs with the hero’s name, always bring tears to my eyes. On one escort we were going up to the cemetery in Igo, when we passed Grant School on Placer, every student and teacher had lined the fence, all were holding handmade flags to show honor to the hero. It was a patriotic moment that will be with me to the day the escort will be for me. I still get goosebumps every time I pass that school. Shasta County really lives up to the sign posted on the bridge on I-5. ~Russ and Angel Riley, PGR Riders

JulieBeyAfter the 9-11 attacks, the news had a website listing the deployed people that needed pen pals. I chose a single woman in the medical field. I wrote her a letter, my email, and a picture of my smiling 6-month- old daughter. I asked her to share that picture with her fellow military members to remind them that they are heroes protecting these little kids and their families.

Ten years later, I got a strange e-mail from a woman who had moved a few times and was going through some boxes. She found my letter and picture of my daughter. She said she was glad I kept the same e-mail and wanted to thank me. Thank ME?! She kept Brooke’s picture in her helmet during her ENTIRE deployment and we are now Facebook friends.

She helped build a hospital in the Middle East, back home, married with three sons and based in Missouri as her husband is on active duty. I, someday, hope to meet her.

Thanks to technology, we can share pictures of our kids and she can see the little girl that “she took around Iraq and Afghanistan.” ~Julie Bey

My late husband Roger joined the Army after the first Gulf War and was older than most of the other enlisted men with whom he spent basic training. He became something of an older brother to the guys. When they didn’t want to do their ‘chores’ he would lecture them, so that they would do their work just to get him to shut up. When one of the guys messed up and the whole unit was punished for it, he spent the night on the floor next to the culprit with a broom stick and had to wrestle several guys to protect him. No one was hurt and the anger was spent. He was killed shortly after basic in an accident while training. ~Kimberley Harper

My good friend Chad Regelin died the first week of January of this year. He got hit by an IED. I grew up with him in Redding. I’d like to honor him. He was an amazing guy. ~Kristen Thomas

Elizabeth20LuckI was born in Romania. World War II brought me to Germany and separated me from my 10 brothers and sisters. My parents passed away in 1940 & 1941 when I got to Germany. I had to find a job so I could get a ration card. I got a job with a family that was very rich. They owned a yarn factory and I helped take care of their four boys. When World War II ended, the American Occupation Forces arrived. They came and occupied thisbeautiful home on the hill for their headquarters. We had to move into the factory, taking our personal belongings only.

One day, they asked me to work for them, helping in the kitchen. I spoke no English. I worked for them for nine months until they had to go back to the United States. While working for them, I learned how to speak English.

In 1947 I got a job working at the Red Cross Tailor Shop. I didn’t know how to sew, but I could speak better English than the other girls. One afternoon, a soldier came in to have his jacket altered. He asked if I could have it done by the evening because he had a date. I had never seen the man in my life, but I said, “You have a date? I thought you could be my boyfriend!” I couldn’t believe I said that. He then asked what time I got off work and I told him. After he left, my co-workers thought I was crazy. I told them I was going to marry him. When I left work that night, I opened the door and there he was, Sgt. Steve H. Luck. We dated and were married on January 3, 1948 at the Army Chapel in Weiden, Germany.

In December 1948, I came to the United States.

We adopted two children, have three grandchildren and now have seven great grandchildren. We were married for almost 60 years. My beloved soldier passed away in 2007 but I have been blessed all my life in the United States. ~Elizabeth Luck



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