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A Proud Daughter

My father, Lieutenant Colonel Lester Leidy, Jr., was a World War II Veteran who served in the 347th Fighter Group in the South Pacific Theatre. Flying 165 combat missions some in the infamous P38 Lightening, he totaled 916 hours of flying time, of which 467 hours were in combat. My dad was a decorated soldier earning The Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Theatre Ribbon with 4 Battle Stars, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Battle Star.

My father was very modest about his accomplishments, some which I didn't learn about until after his passing in 1998. His uniforms and flying jacket were donated to the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in MI to be preserved for history's sake. As much as I am proud of my father, he was just as proud to serve his country, and did so honorably.

I have thought about sharing this story after seeing many other men and women's courageous efforts shared on this page. We cannot forget those who make our freedom possible.

Barbara Leidy-Maxwell
East Norriton, PA


My grandfather-in-law was stationed in Italy. He went in with friends, one of which volunteered to clean his twin 50's so he could go out, as his friend was going home the next day.

So he goes to a movie, thanks his buddy and sees him off the next day. A day or so later his unit got in a fire fight, when he pulled the trigger on his 50's, nothing. He rips it apart, no firing pins!

He saw his buddy when he got home, who busted out laughing and handed him the firing pins!

I think he punched him in the head, but afterwards they laughed about it many times over the years.

Michael H. Murphy
Woodbury, NJ

Retired Veteran

So glad to be home alive after my 4 tours at war. Life seems a lot harder now with PTSD

Thomas Burnside

My father who was KIA in Viet Nam

My father served with the 9 th marines he was killed April 14 1967 I can only Remember certain things about my Father I know he left for Viet Nam shortly after my Brother was seriously Burt over 50 percent of his Body this I know was hard for him to leave to go fight for a Country he loved so much so he is my Hero and I know I am the last in are Fsmily to Serve my Father Sgt Robert Anthony Chapp USMC this son and Veteran Saluts you and I will Never Forget

Frank R Chapp Hylla
Beaver, OR

Welcome Home

I was in Vietnam in 1968-1969 as a Marine attached to 1st Bn 1st Marines Charlie Company. We went through hell while we were there and served in Booby Trap Heaven as we called it. We lost so many Marines from booby traps and it made it a challenge to go into the field daily. I was shot at, went through rice patties, through rivers and streams all the time with jungle rot because we could not keep our feet dry. It just does something to you when a buddie is shot beside you or is blown up by a boobie trap.

What really upset me when I came home was I landed at the San Francisco Airport and came off the plane and actually have people spit at me and call me a baby killer. I’ll have you know that I did not kill one baby over there, but it took everything I had from grabbing that person and doing bodily harm to them. I did not like being there either, but my country sent me there away from my family and girlfriend. I had no say so in where I would serve, so that meant you go where they tell you to go. I was there fighting so this sick SOM could spit at us when we came home.

45 years later, my life has changed drastically from the Agent Orange. I have held everything in over time and the PTSD has finally caught up with me. My wife has suffered more than I have from my PTSD, I am getting help for it now.

I want to say thank you to my wife for all her support and thank you for sticking with me for 45 years. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would of taken my life somewhere along the line. Thank you Pam for giving me my life back and being my best friend.

If you know a veteran, give them a hug or a hand shake, when all is said, they most likely need it.

Gene Stewart

USMC 1968-1971 Vietnam Vet 1968-1969

Gene Stewart
Mt Pleasant, IA

Willing to help!

My name is Candice Cowen. I grew up in a military family. I was previously married for 15 years to a Marine, so I've been around the military all my life. I know the sop, ups and downs, toll and roller coaster associated with it as well, good and bad. I volunteered a lot on several bases that I lived on. I thoroughly enjoy helping. If anyone just needs to talk, vent, an ear to listen.. I'm here for you!! Everyone needs somebody sometimes! If I can help in any way, please look me up, through this or social media (fb). God bless and take care!

Candice Cowen
Dearborn Heights, MI

widowed vet with 2 boys in need of help

I am not a veteran but I recently met an army veteran with 2 boys who is widowed that is struggling. I can't believe celebrities get paid millions and our military doesn't. The vets in our country come home and face such difficulties. He served 8 years of his life for what he believed in and has fallen through the cracks. I see this so much today in society especially being a daughter of a sergeant in the marine corps. I thank all branches of military for protecting my right to freedom. Good bless you all!

The picture posted is of him and his 2 boys

Carlisle, PA


I was at Ft. McClellan in 1977, In 1981 I gave birth to a child with Spina Bifida. I had wondered about how she might has developed this. I guess I now know. If Agent Orange can cause Spina Bifida in children born to Vietnam Veterans who were exposed to agent orange, is this why my child suffers? The VA needs to get off their rear ends and give help to all the children born with issues from parents who were stationed in a toxic dump.

Nashville, TN

Seeing God's Glory

I’d become a Marine all over again if possible: I saw, over 20 months on Navy helo carriers, most countries in the Pacific Rim, places in the ocean where there was nothing to see but the largest ocean God ever created, with no land masses anywhere in sight! Seeing so many third-world countries makes be thank God regularly that I was born an American, and was blessed enough with good health to serve the greatest nation on earth! Keeping 18-to-24 Marine helicopters up and running was a tremendous challenge for a teen-turned-20-something, but I’d do it all over again, trust me! I was taught to lead Marines, teach them what came so easily for me, and got to fire .50-caliber machine guns from the doors of those helos I kept flying safely through God’s gorgeous skies, over Hawaii, no less! I learned to trust my leaders, for they were combat-hardened, and knew many things I’d be lucky to ever be taught; they showed me Marines carrying themselves with the utmost integrity and honorability; and nurtured me to be the leader I am to this day. Having been a Marine also aided my success in the National Guard many years later, taking young men and women, who’d otherwise be back on the block, screwing their lives up royally, and instilling that integrity and respect for our brothers- and sisters-in arms. I’d do it all again, though those latter years were stressful, with several numbskulls challenging my leadership skill and patience greatly. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and my subsequent service to the VHA was made easier, having learned to carry myself with integrity, honoring those who came before me in uniformed service, for they truly deserve all we can give them! It’ll be a sad day, indeed, when the last World War II veteran dies, taking that tremendous work ethic with him or her, to the grave, and on to Heaven above, where I’m sure US Marines will be guarding the pearly gates!

Brett Holdeman
Indianapolis, IN

"A Vietnam Story"

Follow up story to Bill Browns post "A Vietnam Story"... USS Blueridge LCC-19 I was in the control center in the radio room at that time of the attack. My orders were to keep in contact with the communications center on Guam during our attack on the shore battery. I heard and felt our 5 inch guns shelling the position and thought to myself, I hope everyone does their job. Capt. Carol was the best skipper a sailor could have and we had a top notch gun crew. Rm3 Vertin.

Marc Vertin
Newburgh, IN
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