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The life we enjoy in the United States came at a very high price. The old saying, ââ?¬Å?Freedom isnââ?¬â?¢t freeââ?¬Â is so true. For many of us, we were born in freedom and donââ?¬â?¢t really understand why we have it. We have always had it and kind of take it for granted. On Memorial Day, we really need to remember those who bleed and died so that we can have this three day weekend to plant gardens, do yard work and spring cleaning.
Harold N. Rhodes

Let me share briefly the story of one veteran that is very dear to my heart. Let me tell you about my Dad, Harold N. Rhodes.

Dad was born January 20, 1924 in Twin Branch, WV. He graduated from high school in 1942 and enlisted in the Air Force just a few months later. He was 18 at the time. WWII was going strong and it was pretty much expected that you would go and fight for your country just as soon as you could.

The 10 man crew

Dad was part of a ten man crew that flew a B-24 over Germany. He was the engineer and top turret gunner. Today there is only one man left alive from that crew. WWII vets are dying at a rate of about 1,100 per day according to the Department of Veteran�s Affairs. It won�t be long until they will all be gone.

If a crew survived 30 missions they could come home. Dad and his crew were on their 29th mission when they were shot down. There was heavy ground fire that took out the number 2 engine on their way to the target, Politz. They didn�t have far yet to go so they feathered the engine and continued on. They reached their target and were able to drop their bombs.

After dropping their bombs they turned back over the Baltic Sea. Because of the loss of the one engine, they were trailing the other planes in their flight. They had no sooner made their turn for home when they were surrounded by 18 German fighters.

That is where the story gets really interesting. If you want to know what happens next you are going to have to go to the site dedicated to Dad and his crew by clicking here.

Remember and thank those who paid the price for YOUR freedom.

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