Streams

Remembering Those We Lost

Friday, May 23, 2014

Joanne Steen, adviser on line of duty loss and author of Military Widow: A Survival Guide (Naval Institute Press, 2006), takes calls on your Memorial Day tributes as the era of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan comes to a close.

Listeners, give us a call at 212-433-9692 or leave a comment below to honor the men and women you know who were killed as a result of these wars: whether they were serving in the armed forces, working as a contractor in the region, or took his or her own life as a veteran of these two wars. And, if you knew an Iraqi or Afghan civilian who died during one of the wars, give us a call or leave your tribute in the comments.

Guests:

Joanne Steen

Comments [10]

Susan WATERS from New York NY

I'd like to honor my dad Thomas L. Waters Army Air Corp WW11. I found this Newspaper Article online that explains what he went through. (Miss you Daddy)

Oakland Tribune (Newspaper) - December 16, 1944, Oakland, California Saturday, Dec. 16, 1944
B-29 CREW IS SAVED AFTER 11 DAYS IN SEA
By VERN HAUGLAND

21ST BOMBER C O M M A N D HEADQUARTERS, SAIPAN, Dec.16 (Via Navy Radio)
Ten happy men who survived a B-29 water landing upon returning from the Tokyo raid of December 3rd 13 days ago and spent 11 days afloat on three rafts, rejoined their unit today. The airplane's co-pilot went down the ship but the other 10 escaped injury and weathered the long sea wait in such remarkably good condition that none was hospitalized upon his return here. They were picked up by a Navy destroyer December 14, more than 6OO miles north of Saipan. The 10 survivors of the Tokyo strike who were brought here, are: Airplane Commander Capt. Francis James Murray, Brooklyn, "N.Y.: Navigator Lieut. Alton C. Ayers, Corpus Tex.: Flight Engineer 2nd Lieut. Franklin Tennyson, Washington, D.C.; Bombardier Flight Officer Thomas L. Waters. Long Island, N.Y.; Central Control Sgt. Franklin Moore Jr., Oshkosh, Wis.; Left Gunner Sgt. Charles C. Dean, Camden, Ark.; Right Gunner Cpl. Dale n. Coates, fladison, S.D.: Radio Operator Cpl. Drvinne J. Granncman. St. Louis, Mo, Electrical Specialist Cpl. Edward Yaeger, Battleground, Wash.; Tailgunner Sgl. Cliflon L. Sewell. Baltimore, Md.

Captain Murray, the skipper of the ill-fated B-20, told how Ihe super-fortress became a terrible ice encncased trap over Tokyo, Deccmber- 3, when the defrosting equipment failed. Thick ice on the windows prevented the pilots from seeing other planes in their formation and forced them to drop out to avoid a collision. The gunners were unable see the enemy fighters which Concentrated their fury on the 'blinded B-29. The plane lost first one engine and then another and finally a third just before she was "ditched" at 8 p.m. in the pitch black night in heavy swells. The plane broke in two in the middle. All but the co-pilot got out within two minutes. Captain Murray said.
DRIFTED FIVE DAYS
For five days the men in the three rafts kept their position and then gave up hope and started sailing toward the Philippines with the wild and the current. In 10 days, five planes passed over us very high without seeing us. At p.m., December 13, we heard a plane and fired two rockets which the plane did not see. A third, which had a punctured primer and would not work when we tried it before, this time went off. The plane saw it and circled back. "Everyone of us cried and we are not ashamed to admit it." They dropped rations and flares departed. Next morning at 8 a PBM (Martin Mariner) dropped a note saying (that they would be picked up by a destroyer within an hour

May. 26 2014 11:16 PM
Victor from New York

On this Memorial Day I would like to honor the memory of all men and women killed in all of America's wars. The way that we can honor their sacrifice is to return to the wise counsel of our founding fathers who explicitly limited the power to declare and wage war to a declaration passed by Congress.

Since the Vietnam war we have moved away from this constitutional mandate and permitted presidents through various means to commit the country to war without seeking a formal declaration from the congress. The founders knew that if we were to fight a war it should require both the consent of the people as expressed through their representatives and the commitment for every citizen to support that effort through shared sacrifice.

Today our men and women go to war without the debate and careful consideration that a congressional declaration would require, and sadly for spurious reasons having more to do with private economic interests rather than real reasons of national security. They fight and die while most of the nation bears no sacrifice at all.

To honor them we need to repair this broken system so that our nation never goes to war except for the most dire and pressing reasons and does so only after we the people express our belief that the nations welfare requires it.

May. 23 2014 12:42 PM
ShadowOne from Office

I was supposed to be on the 86th floor in Tower Two that Tuesday morning at 9:00 am for a meeting at JP Morgan. That morning I also had to go to Quest Diagnostics for blood level check at 7:00 am that morning because I was on Coumadin and Lovenox treating a DVT in my left leg that was caused by an old Lacrosse knee injury and was being operated on the 20th.
That injury back in 1965 saved my life because I would have been on time for that meeting instead of stuck at Quest behind 53 people that were there on the line before I got there at 6:45 am.
Got out of Quest around 8:20 am, speeding down to Hoboken to catch a ferry, Tower One was hit. I turned around came home. Walked in the front door, wife in shock watching what is going on TV, Tower Two was hit. She thought I was there, but I was late. She almost fainted when she saw me standing in front of her.
I lost three friends in the Towers that day. I was ready to go to war with someone, but I did not know who. As a Vietnam error person, I wanted to be sure who we go after. Even at my age I was ready to strap on and get it on. It was Bin Laden, We got him, but we lost many good people in two wars that should have never been.
If we are going to continue to war irresponsibly, let's just nuke them and get it all over with.

May. 23 2014 11:42 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Hey Murica', If you REALLY want to do something to thank the fallen other than pay lip service to the local vet, salute the flag or toss a few a burgers on the barby "in honor" of them this Memorial Day you might want to stop and THINK about how easily that bloodthirsty, stupid and ultimately criminal spirit of vengeance swept over this country following 9/11... and how that got a lot of those soldiers you worship KILLED FOR NOTHING (though THEY certainly died for something), along with a lot more innocent people who happened to be living in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just a thought.

May. 23 2014 11:38 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Hey Murica', If you REALLY want to do something to thank the fallen other than pay lip service to the local vet, salute the flag or toss a few a burgers on the barby "in honor" of them this Memorial Day you might want to stop and THINK about how easily that bloodthirsty, stupid and ultimately criminal spirit of vengeance swept over this country following 9/11... and how that got a lot of those soldiers you worship KILLED FOR NOTHING (though THEY certainly died for something), along with a lot more innocent people who happened to be living in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just a thought.

May. 23 2014 11:37 AM

First I'd like to honor all those who died volunteering to fight for their country wherever and for whatever reason they were given to do so.

Secondly, I find it repellent that Brian included contractors in memoriam who died in Iraq & Afghanistan. You mean carpetbaggers making $100G + a year and protected by troops who were making barely $20G? These contractors, from Blackwater and KBR, were shameless profiteers of a corrupt foriegn policy.

May. 23 2014 11:29 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Could the no. of troops who survive injuries that would have killed them in earlier wars be a major factor in the increase in demand for medical services at VA facilities that contributed to the scandal that's been reported, beyond the increase caused just by being at war? I heard on 1 of the shows WNYC carries that the increase put a strain on the VA system that wasn't met with an increase in its funding.

May. 23 2014 11:24 AM
JB from NYC

Thank you so much for this segment Brian.

I have lost two family members in these wars and this day is of course difficult for me and my family.

I also want to express my condolences to you Brain on the loss of your wife in Feb of this year. How brave and kind it is of you to share our Memorial Day grief without speaking of yours or making it about you.
(How do you do it?)

May. 23 2014 11:10 AM
Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY

In memory of SGT. Eugene Aguon and SPC Duane Flores, 1/294th Inf. Regiment, Guam National Guard, killed by suicide bomber while serving with my son in Kabul in May 2013. God bless you and your families. Hafa Adai.

May. 23 2014 11:07 AM
john from office

I remember my older brother that died in Vietnam. I doubt Brian would have a segment on those heros.

May. 23 2014 11:07 AM

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