My Grandma and Grandpa were married in April 1941. In August of the next year, WWII was on, and Grandpa was drafted into the army.
After basic training, he was sent to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands as part of the 25th Division. From there, the 25th was to be deployed to Vella Lavella, another island in the Solomans, occupied by the Japanese. They were to be part of the Allied invasion.
The night before, a sergeant stood before the division members and called out ten names. Grandpa's name was among them. He, along with the others, were told they would not be participating in the invasion. Instead, they had been selected to stay behind on Guadalcanal to help form an island command.
Grandpa remained on the island for 28 months until he was injured in a motorcycle accident and sent home in 1945.
This past Friday, September 3rd, my family gathered at Grandpa's for a birthday celebration. He turned 89.
The 25th Division returned to Guadalcanal after the invasion of Vella Lavella. Grandpa said some of the men who left, some of the men he had trained with, didn't come back. After their stop on Guadalcanal, the division was sent elsewhere and encountered more fierce combat and even more casualties, or so Grandpa heard. In his words, "They were hit hard. I don't know why things happened like they did. I guess God was just with me."
I don't have to guess. I believe God knew that man had a lot left to do.... A lot of lives left to bless, especially mine. Whether he saw heavy battle or not, in my eyes, there's never been a braver, more honorable hero. For five years now, he has lived alone in that house without Grandma. He washes his own clothes, makes his own bed, cooks his own meals, mops his own floors. Grandma would be so proud of him. I know I am.
3 days ago