Letter: Soldiers made the world safer

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 1, 2016

My name is Alphonse Jamison. I was born in Michigan on June 11, 1928. I spent life on a farm in upstate New York.

World War II started in 1941. In this war, if you were a male you were made to fight.

My two uncles went in the Navy. My dad couldn’t go; his job was vital to the war effort, and me, a large farm boy, I wanted to go.

My dad and I talked all one day and into the night. We finally agreed I could go, so he lied about my age. So in June 1942, I went in the Navy, trained at Sampson Navy Center in New York.

I went to sea on a destroyer and went to England; from there I went to the Mediterranean Sea where I was active in the invasion of Sicily, then the invasion of Northern Italy.

I got injured and sent to Bethlehem hospital in Washington. The war in Europe ended, and I was discharged in 1946.

This was a sad time for me. Older men got their jobs back; there was nothing for a young man. Uncle Sam gave us $20 a week for 52 weeks, and this was not for me.

I didn’t want to go back to sea. I joined the Army in 1947, trained as a photographer and paratrooper in New York City and … North Carolina.

In 1949 I went to Okinawa Kadena Air Base till 1950. I was home on leave 30 days, then sent to Korea, 1st Calvary trooper. I stayed till I was sent home in late 1953. I spent the next seven years in various countries; this was a dull time for me.

In 1961 I was sent to Vietnam, again in the USA 1st Calvary trooper. I found the place where I belonged. Vietnam felt well, I made master sergeant and this was home. I fought when needed, enjoyed the life as a man should.

I was injured in 1971 in a Jeep accident. I was sent back to the states to a hospital in San Francisco. I stayed there 15 months. I was out of the hospital in 1972, sent to Ft. Dix, New Jersey, to train recruits till 1973.

I was discharged under orders because I wanted to stay. I had a good life, three purple hearts, one bronze star and a fine pension. Out six months, I went to work in oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico with A-1 industries Pool off shores, and one year in Iran. I got out before the Shaw was ousted.

I worked until I was 80, in plastic industries in New York, Georgia and Alabama. It was a fine life, only not long enough.

Soldiers never forgotten,

Alphonse Jamison