OT,Another of the Great Generation gone(long)

My FIL passed away New Years day, another of the Greatest Generation, that did not know the meaning of "quit" or "couldn't".
The article below says he was a light machine gunner, but he was much more, he fought in the Japanese island also as an advance scout and sniper.
After the war he worked as a millwright in Tennessee Coal and Iron rolling mills in Birmingham, survived cancer in his fifties, survived a heart attack in his sixties and again at 85. After surviving cancer he turned to farming and coon hunting for entertainment.
Very tough and independent up until my wife passed in 2011, her passing took a lot out of him and he declined rapidly over the last two years.
He lived a full, well lived life.
The article below appeared originally in the Shelby County Reporter.
basilisk
WWII vet sees dreams fulfilled Published 5:38pm Monday, May 7, 2012    
By CHRISTINE BOATRWIGHT / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO – As William A. Posey walked into Parnell Memorial Library, U.S. military veterans, family and community members alike stood in honor of the World War II veteran.
On May 7, Posey had a dream fulfilled.
Posey, who was born in Back Creek and now lives in Montevallo, had written a book in 1979 about his WWII experiences, but never had the book published. His book, titled “Dress Blues,” concludes with, “I am proud to be able to say, ‘I was a Marine,’ though I never did get those blasted dress blues!”
When he told his Southern Care Hospice nurse, Ollie Munford, about his book and his desire to see it published, she took the manuscript to Mara Tierce, community relations director of Southern Care in Clanton.
“Ollie came in and said, ‘Mara, we need to get this published,’” Tierce said.
Following the discussion, Tierce met Dixon Brooke Jr., president and CEO of EBSCO Industries, at a South Shelby Chamber of Commerce luncheon. When she mentioned the book, Brooke told Tierce to contact his assistant. In the end, EBSCO published Posey’s book for family members, then printed a second time as word spread.
Tierce then got in touch with Robert Horton, public information officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She invited Horton to a book signing she set up for Posey in Montevallo, but their conversation led to something more.
“Mr. Posey’s book is called ‘Dress Blues,’ but he never got them,” Tierce said. “I asked Mr. Horton, ‘How hard would be to get this man his dress blues?’
“It was a God thing,” she added. “The only person who can order dress blues is a former Marine, and Bob Horton is a former Marine.”
Rep. Kurt Wallace thanks William Posey for his service before having his copy of "Dress Blues" signed by the author. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)
Tierce also called State Representative Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville, to see how he could help. Wallace was one of the people who contributed to the purchase of Posey’s dress blues, which were presented to 93-year-old Posey at his book signing.
“Mara Tierce contacted me, and as I’m a military guy, I said tell me how I can help,” Wallace said. “To get dress blues is to say you’ve reached a pinnacle. You earn them.”
Social Worker Pam Boykin worked with Posey through Southern Care.
“He’s a cut-up,” she said, smiling. “I thought he was just a good, old, country boy, and then I found out he’d been an avid writer.”
After Posey walked through the group of veterans in red from the Marine Corps League at the library, he was seated at the front of the room next to his brother, Richard Posey, who is also a WWII veteran.
“Oh my,” said Posey of the event and of the more than 50 attendees.
Posey volunteered for the Marine Corp in 1944 at the age of 25. After 10 months of service overseas as a light machine gunner, he was honorably discharged.
As he wrote in his book, “Dress Blues,” Posey joined the Marines because “I wanted the best training I could get to better my chances of survival over there. In my opinion, the Corps proved that training.”
At his book signing, Posey smiled and put a hand to his mouth as Horton unwrapped two packages in front of him. The packages contained the hat and uniform to his dress blues.
“I’ll try them on when I get home,” Posey said, smiling. “Thank you. You’ll have to read my ‘Dress Blues.’ Every word is true … more or less.”
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"basilisk" wrote:

------------------------------------------------------ Thank you for sharing.
Lew
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On 1/5/2014 9:51 AM, basilisk wrote:

Great story, I'm sorry for your loss.
--
Jeff

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wrote:

I'm sorry for your losses. I hope you were able to tell your FIL "thank you" for his service before his passing.
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On 01/05/2014 10:50 AM, Gordon Shumway wrote:

all that long before the war ended he was a Marine until the day he died.
basilisk
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On 1/5/2014 9:51 AM, basilisk wrote:

<snip> Sorry...

Most of the Greatest Generation kept those memories to themselves. I think it is valuable to have this out in the open and available.
There are options, such as:
http://gutenberg.org/
I've been working my way through memoirs in the Civil War section, it sheds new light.
Gutenberg also has a self publishing arm. There are other options, depends on whether just getting it out there is more important than the money.
Jeff
His book, titled “Dress Blues,” concludes with, “I am

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"basilisk" wrote in message

This message is timely... I was on the phone last night until about 1:15 AM comforting a friend whose father John passed away a year ago on 1/4/2013. John earned two purple hearts... D-Day at Normandy and another that neither of us know the details of as he NOT ONCE discussed any of it. It was only after he died that his wife told us about Normandy... He never gave up on anything right to the end.
During the last conversation I had with him a day or so before he passed he told me that he wanted me to have his tools, amongst them are also his father's tools, both in their original wooden tool boxes. Both men were professional carpenters and I understand that the older tools are beautifully ornate. I told him I was honored... If all goes well I'll be picking them up from FL this spring and getting them back to NY where they started from in the first place. I think that to keep two complete sets of hand tools together in their original wooden tool boxes is something special and I'd never break them up.
John's workmanship was impeccable and I've never seen any paint work that was better... In that last conversation I thanked him for teaching me how to paint.. This as John helped me paint the house he built for his mother that I purchased before they all moved to FL around 1979. John was a great guy... quick of wit as it sounds like William A. Posey was... brothers in arms though on opposite sides of the globe. Not many of them left...
John
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On 01/05/2014 10:58 AM, John Grossbohlin wrote:

I had a number of relatives that were in WWII and most spoke little of their service, my Grandfather was in the army and I would have never known except for a single framed picture of him in uniform.
You're right their numbers are dwindling fast, seems like a year or so ago I read an article that said WWII vets were dying at the rate of 1500 a day.
basilisk
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Thank you for sharing this personal history.
One of my uncles was in the Battle of the Bulge - and would politely redirect the conversation the few times I brought up the subject.
Was not until I realized many years later from my own experience that for some, discussing such life altering events can take you back mentally to the time and place of the event. That so many veterans endured events that I cannot begin to imagine - very much understand their decision to not discuss.
Am equally thankful for those that do contribute their experiences to living history accounts. There is no substitute for a first hand account. Were it not for first hand accounts from those that were there, the revisionist bastards would stand a chance of getting the gullible and uninformed of believing their distortions of fact.
That your FIL finally received his dress blues before passing is a most fitting and deserved recognition of his service.
Thank you and my condolences to you and your family for your loss.
Doug

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