On April 9, 1942 the US surrendered to the Japanese during WWII on the Bataan Peninsula. The Filipino and American troops on Bataan were forced to make the long 65 mile journey back to the prison camps. They marched on foot for days without food and water. Thousands died during that long march, which is why it is aptly called the Bataan Death March, today.
I grew up with stories of my grandfather, the war hero, but it never really sunk in until I was much older. My father’s father was in the Battan Death March. Let that sink in. . . he survived – which was a miracle in itself. . . therefore my father was born, and me, and so on. . . . Wow.
Now, I don’t know if my grandfather suffered from PTSD or not, but I know that he didn’t sustain any life altering injuries – which is just mind boggling to me. I’m from pretty good stock, eh? I just know that because he was a medic during the war he just so happened to have some insulin on his person at the time of the surrender, and we believe that is what kept him alive during the march – as well as his will to live. Many died due to the brutality of their captors, these men were starved, beaten and bayoneted if they were too weak to walk.
This seems like a black and white movie to me, to think that my grandfather suffered this way and survived, however it makes me that much more aware of the casualties and sufferings of war. I have donated to many causes over the years, but donating to veterans causes is one the ones that really makes me feel like I’m honoring my grandfather. I just recently downloaded an app, Veterans Call. It’s easy to download, choose which veteran charity you would like to donate to, then the money is just charged to your monthly cellphone bill. It’s easy and it’s a great way to help the brothers and sisters of war that fight so valiantly for our freedom.
So, this summer, right after Memorial Day and on to Independence Day, I salute those who have fought for our freedom. They are more brave than we’ll ever know. So if you want to help a veteran or just say thank you for what they have done, I would download the Veterans Call app today and donate. . . here’s a link as well.