One of the most remarkable things that I continue to encounter is the closeness of the world we live in. What is that saying? 6 degrees of separation? Somehow, in some way, we are all connected. This expression has proven itself again on my quest to find veterans who served in the remote Aleutian Islands during WW2.
Last November, as I was planning a local book signing for Deadliest Catch fisherman, Travis Lofland, I discovered a gal I had known for years, Rebecca, also had family, her Grandpa, who served in the Alaska in WW2. And by golly, the good chap is still alive and kicking strong!
|Roy Weinbaugh, 1941 Notice the uniform... |
it is a WW1 uniform due to a shortage in
WW2 uniforms at that time.
Roy Weinbaugh joined the army in December of 1941. Although, not what he expected to do in the army, he went on to serve as a medic in Alaska from February 1942- 1944.
He began his active duty in Anchorage and as the war progressed he moved on to Adak, Kiska and finally Attu. The horrific sights he saw on Attu are things that have stayed with him all these years. After the campaign he remained stationed in Alaska for another year before returning to Atlanta for training.
When the war was over he got his discharge and returned to his home in Arkansas to work on his family farm. He got married, was blessed with a daughter and eventually moved his family to Michigan, where he still calls home, after accepting a job with General Motors.
|Roy and his beloved wife Ruby who passed in 2009.|
These days you can find 95 year old Roy joyously living in an independent retirement village where he spends his days socializing in different ways. Whether it is at a ballgame, berry picking or sharing smiles with ailing church members, he somehow finds a way to love the life he lives. What an inspiration!
|A youthful and handsome Roy at 94.|