Along the east coast, Amtrak is one of the best ways to travel. The seats are roomy, they are inexpensive, and you get to see some of the best views in America. And, for one elderly veteran at least, the service is beyond compare. You are going to love this story about a young Amtrak worker and a World War II vet.
While passengers were awaiting a redeye train to Baltimore, Maryland from New York’s Penn Station recently, a young Amtrak employee spotted an elderly man in the crowd wearing a distinctive baseball cap.
The Amtrak employee drew closer and saw that the man’s cap said “USN, Armed Services, WWII Veteran.”
The young man, identified as Dwayne, walked up to the elderly man to let him know how honored he was that the veteran would be on his train that evening.
The elderly man, identified as a ninety nine year old named Ed, was headed home to Baltimore. In addition to his baseball cap, he also wore a sign around his neck, notifying others that he was hearing impaired.
Dwayne made sure to speak as clearly as possible so that Ed could understand what he was saying. The Amtrak employee ushered the old man to the front of the boarding line, and then signaled to some of his coworkers to come over and meet the veteran.
The train crew came over and shook Ed’s hand and then led the crowd gathered in the boarding area in a round of applause for Ed’s service during one of the world’s darkest moments.
Dwayne, who is currently in the reserves, then said to Ed “My man, thank you so much. You paved the way for me.”
When the train pulled into Penn Station, Dwayne helped Ed down the escalator to the boarding platform so that the veteran could be first to board the train.
The look on Ed’s face as Dwayne and the rest of the Amtrak crew offered their thanks is priceless.
By the end of World War II, more than three million three hundred thousand men served in the US Navy. About thirty eight percent of all who served volunteered, while about sixty percent were drafted. Almost seventy percent of all men who served during the war found themselves overseas.
Prior to the mid 1930’s, the US Navy was not considered to be among the strongest or best in the world, however, by August of 1945, our country had established itself as the primary Naval power on Earth, a distinction we hold to this day. During that war, the US produced more than twelve hundred combat vessels, including twenty seven aircraft carriers and eight battleships. In fact, by war’s end, more than seventy percent of the total tonnage of naval vessels in the world belonged to the United States.
During the war, the United States Navy was the primary Allied force in the Pacific theatre and engaged the Japanese Imperial Navy in six major battles, including Pearl Harbour, the battle of the Coral Sea, the battle of Midway, the battle of the Philippine Sea, the battle of Leyte Gulf, and the invasion of Okinawa.
Have you ever thanked a World War II vet for their part in defeating the Axis Powers? Do you know a vet personally? Share your thoughts and stories with us here.