Today is Veteran's Day in the United States but it will always be better known to me as Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th to recall the end of World War I on this date back in 1918. World War I ended officially at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when Germany signed the Armistice.
I remember this day when I lived in Canada. We would have a special assembly and sang the national anthem and listened to speakers. We also were given plastic poppies to wear throughout the day. The significance of the Poppy and how it became tied to Remembrance Day is because of John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields." It was because of the poppies that bloomed on the battlefields of Flanders in World War I. The red color symbolizing the blood that was shed during the war, both Armed Forces and civilian casualties.
I am extremely thankful for all those that have chosen to fight so that I can enjoy my freedom. I can do what I want, I can worship how I want to worship, I can read comics, I can do anything because someone is protecting my freedom. It is a debt that I cannot possibly repay.
I have many members of my family that have served in the Armed Forces in way capacity or another and I would like to take some time to recognize them for their efforts. I feel bad because there is a lot I don't know about my family. But I have a goal to rectify this. I will be able to give a full report of my family that served. Thanks to my parents for giving me some information at such short notice.
George Platis (uncle): George served in the Pacific region during World War II. He was a 1st Leutinet in the Navy. He was in charge of bringing in material/supplies for the troops after they landed. His letters to his parents have been published in his book (which will be another column for this blog). He was part of the Invasion of Iwo-Jima. Because he was tall and wore an officer's uniform he was always a target of snipers. He passed away when I was very young.
John Platis (uncle): John joined the Navy late due to age. He spent most of time stationed in Hawaii. He was in the Navy. He was a flight instructor and luckily didn't see any action.
Nick Platis (uncle): Nick served in the Air Force in the Korean War. His main assignment was to be a side gunner on the B-29 Bomber. He flew more missions than the required amount the Air Force wanted. He was part of a very successful air campaign that caught the enemy by surprise. Unfortunately he and his crew were to fly that same mission and the enemy was prepared. Twelve planes went in on the attack and only one came out. The plane was severely damaged (only one wheel was available because the rest of the landing gear was destroyed) and he was injured when the plane crashed. His leg was hurt but he was happy he survived. He credited the Australian pilots (single fighter planes) that were attacking at the same time, they took most of the heat. Nick passed away just a few years ago.
Paul Platis (my dad): He was drafted into the Vietnam War. He didn't serve in Vietnam but served Veterinarian Corp for two years in Thailand.
Dean Platis (uncle): He was drafted into Vietnam War. Served stateside for two years in Texas. His assignment was various clerical positions at the Battalion HQ.
Roger Dean Carstens (cousin): He served recently in the Afghanistan conflict. He is a retired Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel.
Chris Toner (cousin): I believe he served as a Major in the Afghanistan conflict.
Theron Anhder (Grandfather): Served in World War II and the Korean War. He was on the ship I remember him showing me his Japanese sword and German Luger that he confiscated from the enemy. He was on the battleship Missouri when Japan officially surrendered in a ceremony. His brother Theo stormed the beach at Iwo-Jima and his other brother Lamoine was in Air Force during World War II.
Jerry Case (uncle): Served in the Vietnam War: SGT Reconnaissance Team Leader
Wes Goring (cousin): Served recently in the Afghanistan conflict.
I might have missed some family members or got some information correct. If you have more information please send me an e-mail. By Memorial Day, I will have a full accounting of my family's service in the Armed Forces.
On behalf of my family and I, we appreciate and value all of the people serving in the Armed Forces. Thank you for giving and securing us our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are with those that currently serve.