His name was Robert Smith. I knew him as Great Uncle Bob.
He was retired from the Army & was a World War 2 veteran.
I interviewed him for a speech class when I was in High School over two decades ago. I still have my speech notes, but they’re packed away in storage along with sketches and drawings from art class & designs created in the graphic design classes I had in college.
Unfortunately I don’t recall very much of the actual interview. I would have to refer to the notes I had in order to get more of his history. However, one thing has stuck with me all these years.
Robert Smith had been stationed in California, but was sent to Hawaii along with several other servicemen. Those men were in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were not suppose to be there, but they were. And the only reason they were there in the first place, was because of a big outbreak of influenza on mainland United States.
I am thankful for his service to our country. Thankful that he was still alive. And I was thankful for being able to interview him.
Sadly, he passed away a few years after I graduated from high school.
I feel this story deserves more attention, for it holds value; a lesson in American History. I will have to come back and see to it’s completion.