Today is Veterans Day, and we join with the rest of the nation¬†in celebrating and saluting those who have served our country.
|¬†¬† Mrs. Katie White holds a portrait of her husband,
¬†¬† Mr. Joseph C. White, who was a Tuskegee Airman and
¬†¬† an Alive Hospice patient.
People like Mr. Joseph C. White and Mr. James Ladd, who both served in World War II and were Alive Hospice patients.
Mrs. Katie White knew her husband, Joseph C. White, was a wonderful person when she married him. There was something she didn‚Äôt know about him, though, until after they wed in 1963. Something he had never talked about. Mr. White was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the United States‚Äô first squadron of African-American fighter pilots.
“He really was very proud to be a Tuskegee Airman,” Mrs. White said. “He said that he felt it was his duty to do what he did for the United States. He said he didn‚Äôt feel like the country owed him anything. (The Tuskegee Airmen) did it because they wanted to do it.”
As Mrs. White learned later, Mr. White flew many a mission over Germany, North Africa and Italy during World War II. His duty was to protect bomber aircraft from enemy fire. His unit, the 332nd Fighter Group (which came to be called “The Redtails”), never lost a bomber that flew under their escort.
Many years after his distinguished military career, Mr. White fought a battle of a different kind: cancer. When his illness became terminal,¬†Mr. White¬†and his family turned to Alive Hospice for comfort and support. He died in 2007.
|¬†¬† Mr. James Ladd, who was an Alive Hospice patient, was a proud
¬†¬† veteran of World War II. He is pictured with medals he earned during
¬†¬†¬†his military service.
Like Mr. White, Mr. James Ladd took great pride in serving his country during World War II.
Mr. Ladd was a gunner with the 738th Tank Battalion who helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
‚ÄúI was just a boy when I went in, 19 years old,‚ÄĚ he said.
Of all of the things he did in life, Mr. Ladd said without hesitation that his military career was one of the things he was proudest of. He died in 2008.
Alive Hospice salutes Mr. White, Mr. Ladd and all veterans who have served their country over the years.