We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War


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That was my only meal of the day. We grew our own seasonal vegetables, and kept the occasional pig and a goat. The village was chosen to host child evacuees from the East End of London. They arrived on our single line railway and the village WI, of which my mother was Chairman, had the job of allocating individuals to an official list of homes. Mum took him in. These children obviously came from very different home conditions to those in our area.

Our lad, like most others, only had what he was wearing, and his gas mask. He never had a single communication from his mother in the years he was with us. We had a shock when he wet the bed, as this was unheard-of in our village experience, but was a frequent occurrence among the evacuees. One morning we had an urgent telegram from The Admiralty that our Turbine-driven Electric Generators on Destroyers were failing in battle because when depth charges were dropped they shattered the mountings.

This meant that at the vital moment the ships were out-of-action. A high-ranking official came the same day, and by its end a new design was on the drawing board. Similarly the emergency overspeed tripping devices were shutting down the generators because the Admiralty had forgotten to include a clause about the effect of depth charges.

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The problem was put to the whole office to solve and at only 15 years I came up with the solution, although I was not experienced enough to perfect the design. Throughout the war the company products included; - steam turbines and steam engines, driving electric generators or compressors for high pressure air used by torpedos0, torpedo engines, horsepower diesels for S class destroyers, paravanes for minesweepers, Beaufor guns, as well as domestic items such as bottle filling and washing equipment, banknote printers for the Mint. There was an on- site made diesel-engined powerhouse and the noise inside was deafening.


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I found that instead I could volunteer for service in a rocket battery in Peterborough for one overnight duty. This was a big advantage, as it allowed me to go to evening classes and cut out a return journey home. Fringe benefits were that I got a ration-free cooked breakfast, which I had never had before in my life and I could wear the Army clothes for 2 days, reducing wear and tear on my own. I was a Plotter receiving Radar tracking of overnight enemy aircraft and producing firing data to the 64 strong barrage of rockets.

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This included journeys to essential work. Consequently cars could be bought very cheaply.

As soon as I was 17 I got a driving licence. One morning when it was raining and dad could not work on the land I drove 13 miles to work and 13 miles back in the blackout, with dad, and that was the total driving instruction I ever had. Next day I went on my own.

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They Also Serve

To make the car travel financially possible I took 3 paying passengers which was illegal. I did not ever take a driving test as there were none for the duration and after the war full driving licences were issued at the next renewal. The problem was that there were usually more than I had seats for, so many times we were grossly overloaded. We joined in the celebrations and we were outside Buckingham Palace when the King and the Queen, Churchill, and the Royal Children came out on to the balcony.

We slept on the floor of an empty bombed house. When Japan surrendered I again drove to London with my brother and lads from the village on 15 August We went dancing in the Royal Albert Hall. It was a very warm night so we slept on the ground in Green Park. We slept soundly in spite of people stumbling over us. Their approach in the election was twofold: Polls suggest the effort paid off.

Obama won the vote of veterans under 45, taking 51 percent.

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The president is also making progress on the policy front. A recent poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner showed that two-thirds of likely voters approve of his handling of national security issues. The White House now is trying to capitalize on those gains and build a more enduring constituency within the military. A key way to do that is to reach out to their families, said Robert Diamond, the New York state chairman of Veterans for Obama.

Military families are certainly feeling left out of the conversation. The burdens on military families are intense, from the logistics of moving from base to base to the challenges of parenting alone while spouses are deployed.

Let's not forget the unsung heroes: That's why we must improve services for our nation's military families.

We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War
We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War We Also Serve:A Family Goes to War

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