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Hello:
My father passed away back in 2003. All he ever told me was that he was on Okinawa during WWll. He would never discuss what he did on Okinawa. After we buried my dad my brother and I drove my mother home and she decided to tell us some of the things my father went through while fighting on Okinawa.

Recently my brother and my son were in town for Thanksgiving and we decided to see the movie Hacksaw ridge. After seeing this movie I can now understand why my father never spoke about the war. My dad was on Okinawa from the start of the battle to the very end. My mother told us that he lost numerous friends on this island.

My mother also told us that one of the things he did was use a flame thrower as the enemy were in tunnels all over the island and the only way most would come out of these tunnels were by flame thrower or grenades. I was told that the enemy told the civilians on the island that if they were captured by the Americans they would be raped and murdered.

My mother said that my dad witnessed numerous old men, women and children as they jumped off cliffs rather then be taken prisoner by the Americans.

If any of you want to see a really good movie see Hacksaw Ridge. Many of our fathers fought and died in the Pacific and in Europe. We owe these fine brave men our sincere gratitude.
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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Hello:
My father passed away back in 2003. All he ever told me was that he was on Okinawa during WWll. He would never discuss what he did on Okinawa. After we buried my dad my brother and I drove my mother home and she decided to tell us some of the things my father went through while fighting on Okinawa.

Recently my brother and my son were in town for Thanksgiving and we decided to see the movie Hacksaw ridge. After seeing this movie I can now understand why my father never spoke about the war. My dad was on Okinawa from the start of the battle to the very end. My mother told us that he lost numerous friends on this island.

My mother also told us that one of the things he did was use a flame thrower as the enemy were in tunnels all over the island and the only way most would come out of these tunnels were by flame thrower or grenades. I was told that the enemy told the civilians on the island that if they were captured by the Americans they would be raped and murdered.

My mother said that my dad witnessed numerous old men, women and children as they jumped off cliffs rather then be taken prisoner by the Americans.

If any of you want to see a really good movie see Hacksaw Ridge. Many of our fathers fought and died in the Pacific and in Europe. We owe these fine brave men our sincere gratitude.
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
Steve, there was a documentary on the history channel about hacksaw ridge, showed women jumping off cliffs, pretty terrible stuff happened there. glad your dad came home. jack mc
 

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Discussion Starter #4
CatusJW:
Jack:
He got hurt on Okinawa and came home on a Red Cross ship. My father suffered daily from his injuries that he got while there. In 1968, he was having coffee at an area mall and a gentleman asked my father if he could sit down next to him and take a look at his newspaper. That man just happened to be an attorney and he eventually was able to get my father a disability.

My mother told us one story that my dad got sick and his best friend took his place on guard duty that evening. The enemy was attempting to infiltrate where my dad was and try to get food. That night his friend got bayoneted and died. My mother told us that my father suffered tremendous guilt until the day he died about his friend losing his life.

I wish he would of told us as we could have gotten him some professional help.
Steve
 

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I have read a lot on Okinawa, and it was one of the bloodiest campaigns of any war.

Over 14,ooo deaths on our side and over 77,000 Japanese deaths. Not to mention how many of the local populace were killed.

Had to be devastating to your Dad.

Steve, I hope you know your Dad was in all reality, a hero. First for just surviving, and then coming back and leading a productive life. Not every one could after that.

I salute your Dad and all those brave men who fought for our freedom.

God bless them all!

Hauxfan!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hauxfan:
Thanks, even though most of the men who fought in WWll did not think of themselves as heroes. I will never forget the time I took my father to a local gun club just after we went to Iraq. There were two trap boys sitting at a table and someone asked them if they were drafted would they go to Iraq? Each one of them said no.

I thought my father would get upset and say something to them and he did not say anything. He told me that my mother and him were seeing a movie on December 7th 1941 when the manager stopped the movie and came on stage and told everyone that Pearl harbor was attacked. He said everyone left the theatre and the very next day my dad and his friends enlisted.

Things were different at that time.
Steve
 

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I have read a lot on Okinawa, and it was one of the bloodiest campaigns of any war.

Over 14,ooo deaths on our side and over 77,000 Japanese deaths. Not to mention how many of the local populace were killed.

Had to be devastating to your Dad.

Steve, I hope you know your Dad was in all reality, a hero. First for just surviving, and then coming back and leading a productive life. Not every one could after that.

I salute your Dad and all those brave men who fought for our freedom.

God bless them all!
steve I couldn't have said it any better than Hauxfan. I wish your dad could have gotten some help. jack mc
 

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First off---I would have liked to have Thanked your Father for his Service. But your Father was not alone with the Horror's of War that he saw!!! A very close friend of mine served in the Pacific during the war. Some of his stories he will never tell me. The one's he has are hard to fathom!!! He was on a patrol with some Island natives looking for the enemy. After ambushing and killing a whole Jap Patrol the natives carved them up and ate the dead. They were cannibal's you see. He had to hang around there while they ate, because they were the guides you see. They had no real idea of where they were at or where the enemy might be without them. My Buddy was glad they were on our side, as they were a very ruthless and murderous tribe!!! You are very right indeed. It was a different time for sure. May they all RIP!!! break em all Jeff
 

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I just lost my 89 year old dad in May. He, like many others, lied about his age to join the military. Dad joined in August, turned 16 in October & was on the 2nd wave at Omaha beach in June. I still refer to Dad as a G.O.A.T. Greatest Of All Time. They went to war, saved the world, came home & raised families, and never asked for anything. I hope to live long enough to be 1/2 the man my dad was. Butch from Pgh
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MUZZLEBLAST:
Butch,
Sorry for the loss of your father. I could not say it any better than what you said.
Steve
 

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Now a couple generations latter the young people feel it's OK to burn our flag. Veterans deserve respect and it's not OK. The saying that, "Some gave all and all gave some" is very true but it's hard to fully comprehend by non veterans.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Setterman:
I have always believed that flag burning should have repercussions. If people hate living here they do have options.

When Vietnam was on I was drafted. Did I like like leaving my job, family and friends , no. But I felt I had an obligation as a citizen of this country so I did my duty.
Steve
 

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Smoke, here is a picture of one of the cannons in Okinawa. It is on the west side of the island near the south end. The old timers there said it and the others sank many ships there. I do not remember the size of the hole but would guess from memory it was about 4 inches. Picture was taken in 1962. Some of the islanders there probably seldom saw an American.
image.jpeg
 

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Senior, I think there is a big difference between "freedom of Speech" and burning your country's flag. If you disagree with what your Country (government) is doing you have other options beyond burning the flag which many have died to protect. With exception of some immigrants, few of us are lucky enough to not have a relative die while protecting this country and flag at some time. Our patriots died or sustained injury for their Country which is represented by our flag. If they hate political decisions or certain politicians there are ways to directly protest those people and decisions.

It's kind of like saying "all Muslims are terrorists". And we know what we've been told by the same flag burners....
 

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It's sad the VA was not aware of what mental and physical issues soldier go through. The system is still in need of improvement. My 89 year of father still has a hate for all Japanese people. He was in the navy off the coast of that deadly fight on that island.
. I believe all our veterans deserve all the help we can give them.
 

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naha gun.jpg
Smoke, here is a picture of one of the cannons in Okinawa. It is on the west side of the island near the south end. The old timers there said it and the others sank many ships there. I do not remember the size of the hole but would guess from memory it was about 4 inches. Picture was taken in 1962. Some of the islanders there probably seldom saw an American. View attachment 662457
That might be the gun that was just behind my barracks at Naha AB. Spent 18 months on Okinawa and can't imagine how difficult that battle must have been. The terrain, the weather, the turtle back tombs used as gun emplacements, caves, goddamn Habus 13 feet long...and an enemy sworn to fight to the death. Hell on Earth. Think this is the same gun.
 
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