One Less Hero


Dave Markowitz
November 12, 2003, 08:41 PM
I just got off the phone with RON in PA and found out that my great uncle Lester passed away last night.

I can't say that I was close to Uncle Lester. In fact the last time I saw him was probably almost 20 years ago. But having him in my family was something of a source of pride to me. Uncle Lester was a real life WW2 hero.

He served as a US Army Infantryman in the Pacific Theater and saw action at (I think) Kwajalein, Eniewietok, and Pelileu. During his service he was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, and a Silver Star. And of course the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

He was decorated in one action for rallying the other men in his unit to stop a banzai charge by Japanese troops.

In another battle he took out a Japanese tank by climbing up on it and tossing a grenade down the turret hatch. During the process he was hit by Japanese machinegun fire and left for dead on the field. The next day another unit was moving through the area and saw him moving, and got him to a medical unit. The Jap machinegun bullets are still in his back.

If you've ever seen the old TV show, "World War Two: GI Diary," and watched the end credits, you've seen Uncle Lester. As the credits roll a bunch of GIs are shown walking out of some Pacific jungle hellhole. The guy in the front wearing a soft cap and smoking a cigarette is him.

Perhaps it's fitting that he passed away on Veteran's Day. If you know any WW2 vets, talk to them NOW. They are rapidly fading away.

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November 12, 2003, 08:57 PM
They are indeed a dying breed Frodo ....... may Great Uncle Lester rest in peace ... and may those who knew him relish what he gave and honor him for it.

I was fortunate enough to meet a guy recently who served late in the war (WWII), and saw much action on the high seas .. I bought a loada model stuff from him. He enjoys talking .. and despite sometimes needing to get on my way ... have put impatience aside and listened ... less to hear the actual ''tales'' but more to relish the man's courage and total dedication under fire.... he was pretty young then but had courage way beyond his tender years.

He saw many (way too many) comrades in arms be horribly injured, and die - and he is one of those who even now ... bears guilt .. because 'he survived', and they didn't. I hope people with Grandpaps who are still alive and served ... listen to what they have to say . and most of all remember what they and their comrades gave.

November 12, 2003, 09:50 PM
HankL, Standing at Attention with a tear in my eye! God rest your soul Uncle Lester and thank you for what you did for all of us.

November 12, 2003, 10:23 PM
Frodo: No question about it. Your uncle was a genuine hero in my mind. Good grief, a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart. And the CIB. I stand in solemn awe of his accomplishments.

You must be very proud of him, as well you should. He gave so much of himself to help his nation. He and his comrades-in-arms of World War II were very special people . . . though you'd have a tough time convincing them of that.

Our WWII veterans are leaving us at the rate of more than 1,500 a day. Soon they will all be only memories. Cherish the memories of your uncle. He was indeed a hero.

November 12, 2003, 10:37 PM
I am proud of him & I didn't know him. Thank you for sharing, with men like that there is still hope.

November 12, 2003, 11:05 PM
On this past Veterans Day I attended the funeral of my Uncle Lloyd.

He was drafted into the Army in WWII and was an infantry man under Patton from North Africa into Italy and all the way through the liberation of France and the capitulation of Germany.

He stayed in the Army after WWII and went on to fight in Korea.

He too was a genuine hero. His passing gave me a whole new sense of what Veterans Day really means. He was buried in his uniform with full military honors.

I will miss him.

November 12, 2003, 11:07 PM
My condolences on your loss.

Correction, our loss.

Our country is great because of men like him, and a bit diminished with his passing.

Peace to you, my friend.

November 12, 2003, 11:16 PM
Men (and women) "like that" are now serving in Iraq, A'stan, Kosovo, and in many other far flung outposts in this generaly ungratefull world. My dad, who died in '99 served in WWII in Europe. CIB, 2 Bronze stars, POW medal. Thousands like him will be cheerifuly welcoming their old comrades in arms as they step into eternity. E Pluribus Unum.

(Rant button on) Support them AND our leaders. To do otherwise gives aid and comfort to the terrorist thug. Those of you with lefty proclivities need to understand that there is a profound difference between disagreement and failing to support.
Like it or not, W is the President and Commander in Chief. You may refuse to believe that he is, disagree with his policies , even dislike him to the point of hatred. But to not support the head (commander in chief), you in fact help kill the body and in doing so you absolutely FAIL to support our warriors. Thus your claim to support the troops is a monumental hypocracy. At the end of the day you also fail your neighbor as yourself. (Rant button off)


4v50 Gary
November 12, 2003, 11:44 PM
God Bless your Uncle Lester and may he RIP. Another of America's son has gone to his reward.

November 13, 2003, 01:49 AM
The Lord will rest alittle easier now that he has such a brave man such as Uncle Lester at his side. I raise my glass to you sir.

November 13, 2003, 03:49 AM
In the future, when you smile for no apparent reason, we who have read this thread will know why.;)

November 13, 2003, 12:58 PM
God rest his brave soul. We are diminished, but Heaven is improved.

November 13, 2003, 03:57 PM
<Our finest generation>

They answered the call, and so many gave all, and all gave some.
RIP Lester

TFL SUrvivor

November 13, 2003, 06:18 PM
I'm currently losing my Uncle Bud to cancer, and it's really hard listening to the reports from my father about what is happening to him... Bud was a Ranger back in the early fifties...

another okie
November 13, 2003, 06:28 PM
I just finished reading Chesty, the biography of Chesty Puller, the marine general who won five Navy Crosses. He was at Pelileu, and the book is pretty interesting on that battle and Chesty's reputation for squandering men.

November 14, 2003, 11:44 PM
I lost my stepfather a few years ago. He fought from the D-Day landings to the defeat of Germany. His outfit liberated at least one concentration camp. He rarely talked about his service tho I know he had 3 purple hearts from different wounds.

God bless them all for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Beetle Bailey
November 15, 2003, 01:40 AM
I am sorry for your loss.

As others have said, please take every opportunity to talk to vets. I've had the honor to meet and speak with several WWII vets and also civilians who saw some horrible things. Let's see: a Chinese-American Marine who fought in the Pacific, a Japanese-American in the 442nd, a British soldier who fought in Europe, two other Americans who fought in Europe, an American boy used as a slave in a POW camp in the Philipines, and a German boy who eventually made it to the United States and was my US Government professor in college (no kidding). I didn't seek any of them out, they all wanted to share their experiences, both good and bad.

November 15, 2003, 02:35 AM
It's people like this who make me feel angry when people like Jessica Lynch get called heroes.

Your uncle was the REAL DEAL. not one of the CNN heroes who didn't do anything but cower in fear


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