As we start today, we would like to take the time to honor all veterans, and current military members, and their families for the selfless service and sacrifice that they have given for their country. While I personally never served, my father and uncle served in World War II and my grandfather was an officer in World War One.
My grandfather, Albert Oakes, Sr, entered the Army in 1915 as a corporal and was dispatched to the Mexican
border to hunt down Pancho Villa. In 1918, he advanced to the rank of
First Lieutenant and spent time in Europe.
When World Was II broke out, my grandfather was appointed as the head of the local draft board. He always said, “The hardest thing he ever did in his life was to induct his sons into the Army,” knowing that they would go overseas to war.
My father, Fisher Oakes, served in the Army Air Corps in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea from December 1942 to January 1946. My uncle, Jack Oakes, served in the Army from June 1944 to May 1946. After serving on the
front line in Belgium and Germany, Jack’s infantry rifle unit was
preparing to invade Japan when the atomic bomb ended the Eastern theater
conflict in August 1945.
Here is a picture of one of the groups that was drafted in Columbia, Tennessee, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1942.. My father is the seventh from the left in the first standing row.
We all should pause to reflect on those who have served our country, as well as those that remain active in the military and keep our troops in our prayers every day. We would not have the freedoms that we enjoy today if not for the sacrifices made by those who have defended the country since the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass