At Play In The Archive
Hello, People. In celebration of Veterans Day here in U.S., I bring you a slight update of last year’s post featuring my veteran people. It’s worth mentioning that several veterans in my family are very much alive, and some are currently on active duty. To respect their privacy, I have not included them here, but I thank them all heartily for their service.
First, here is my Great-Grand-Uncle Ernst Spielmann serving in Europe during WWI. I wrote about these images in Postcards Home from WWI and Ernst was subsequently featured in Florida International University’s WWI #GreatWarStories project on tumblr.
My Great-Grandfather Pete Marak also served in WWI. I don’t know much about his service history, but the insignia on his sleeve leads me to believe he was part of a medical unit. I cannot even imagine what he must have witnessed.
I wrote about my Great-Grandfather, Austin Flagel “Buck” Yoder, a professional jazz musician, in an earlier post. Pop joined the US Navy in WWI, enlisting as a Musician First Class out of Portland, OR. Here he is playing with Paul Whiteman.
Next up is my Great-Uncle Ted Marak (son of Pete Marak, pictured above), who served in the Army Air Corps, the pre-cursor to today’s Air Force.
Here is my sweet Grandfather, Robert Lessiack, who served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in the Pacific in WWII, eventually retiring as a Major (I think. I have many more records to dig through to get the whole story). He joined up fresh out of college, and he was involved in a mysterious romance with a beautiful Navy nurse prior to meeting and marrying my grandmother in 1945. That mystery was the very first thing I wrote on this blog, and it is still one of my most intriguing brick walls.
My Great-Uncle Roger Adams, an Olympic-caliber college swimmer, also served in WWII in Europe. No matter how difficult the circumstances, he was always a cheerful, sunny, make-the-best-of-it kind of fellow, so somehow this picture seems appropriate. I also wrote about Uncle Roger Sir (for that is what I always called him) here.
My Pop Jim (that is, James Daniel Griffin) served in WWII as well. I believe he was in the Coast Guard, but I’m not certain.
My father-in-law, Robert Robertson, had a long and distinguished career with the US Army. He served in WWII and clear through the war in Vietnam. Bob was a man of great wit and writing ability; we have several priceless comedic “newsletters” that he published while in Vietnam for the entertainment of his fellow soldiers. I will share those another time — they are very fine specimens of gallows humor.
Thank you, my Veteran People, for all you did and do.