Letters from our Friends
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Dear Sonny and Ari,
I'm glad I could contribute to your search of crew member's photos. It made me feel good to see George Rusk's picture on the web site J Dad saved a lot of photos of his friends from the USS Owens. That was the ship he spent most of his time on during the war. But I haven't found a USS Owens association to pass them off to.
If I had known the Laffey association was so active and organized, I would have pushed my dad out the door to be involved in the work parties and reunions. Living clear over on the west coast was a factor for him. But also, because his time on the Laffey was so brief, he didn't get to know the crew as well as he would have liked to.
I viewed Patriot's Pointe on Earth Google and was just amazed. I could almost see you guys running around with your buckets of paint and sanders! It's an incredible accomplishment. The planning and hard work that went into preserving the Laffey made a real impression on me. And when viewing the Laffey website, one can tell that the two of you and all the crew thoroughly enjoy being involved with keeping her history alive.
Please accept this donation of $150 and spend it where the need is the most. Paint and sanders? And thank you for all the wonderful work you're doing.
(daughter of Challen McCune,
Laffey crew member, 1945)
We regret we will not be able to attend the reunion. L.B. had heart surgery and a few complications and not able to make the trip.
He looks forward to the Laffey News and loves his crew members. He was on the ship during the battle.
We attended some of the reunions and they were wonderful.
L.B. and Fredine McBryde
7000 West Deer Run
Pine Bluff, AR 71603
Mr. (Laffey) President Walker,
Enclosed is a check for $20.00 for the 4 tickets.
I also want to
thank you, and the other officers and staff, for doing a great job for the
Laffey Association. Also the people that come out for the
Also enclosed is a check for $100 for the work parties. Have a beer on me and thanks again.
May God bless you all.
WWII and Plankowner
I'm sorry that my wife and I will not be able to attend the October Reunion due to my Parkinson's condition. It has really slowed me down.
I will miss attending as I have the last few reunions because of my condition.
I say Hello to those still attending from my unit - on that attack day.
Note from webmaster: Bill was a MM3/c on board April 16, 1945
Dear Sonny and fellow Laffey shipmates,
My name is Denise Poole, Doug Carver's grand-daughter. I am sorry to say that He passed away shortly after my husband's first e-mail to the Laffey association. I want to apologize to everyone who has inquired about his condition for not writing sooner. Frankly, It was just too painful. I can not put into words how enormously touched I was to receive so many eloquent and heartfelt e-mails from people I had never met and maybe never will.
My grand-father was an extra-ordinary man, a fact I was only just becoming aware of shortly before his death. One of the most amazing things that I became aware of at his funeral was that the church family that he was so devoted to and close to never even new he was in the war, much less that he was a survivor of one of the most incredible battles in naval history. They didn't know that he had received a citation for courage and valor under fire. To me he was a hero, one of many on that day, but none of them knew. Many in our family didn't know. That's because he never talked about it. He didn't feel like a hero and would never have used that word to describe himself. He was a man who did what was needed at the time. It was as simple as that. He saw his buddies die that day and he lived from that day forward like he was living on borrowed time. Borrowed from God that is. He had been spared for a purpose and that purpose would not be fully realized until his death. My grand-father was not highly educated. He only attended the fourth grade. He was not a rich man. He came from a very poor family, but he worked every day of his life until he became ill as a self employed painter. He saved nearly every dime he ever made, always conscience of where he came from. He was completely sold out to the Lord. He gave his money to the church, worked on the building for nothing, taught Sunday school, sung in the choir, and visited the sick in the hospital. He never wasted a minute, much less a day. He gave and gave and gave, Yet he never knew how many lives he had blessed. I can't tell you the countless people who came up to me to tell a story of what my papa had done for them.
If he knew that I was writing this he would not want me to waste this opportunity on simply bragging about him. While his story is a moving one there is only one thing that he would want you to know. That God loves you. He loves us all no matter where we've been or what we've done. That despite how little you feel you have to offer, God can do great things with a willing heart. That it is never to late to come to Christ. That even if you only have one day left you can give it to Him. And that, You don't have to be someone smart, rich, well-known or well-connected to make a difference in someone's life.
To all the men who served that day and every day since, I give my sincerest thanks. I am only one of many who have been blessed by your service and your sacrifice.
May God bless and keep you all.
Note: There will be an extra bonus for those attending the reunion. Michelle and her husband, Chris, will be joining the festivities.