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Ron Smith TMM2/c(SS) A WWII submarine veteran
USS Skipjack SS-184 and USS Seal SS-183 with four war patrols
D-Day Memory
by Ron 'Warshot' Smith
June 06, 1999
Fifty-Five years ago today a childhood friend of mine, Terry Nelon was killed on the beach at Normandy. He was 18 and had only been drafted into the Army a few months before, right after graduating from High School. You see, Terry was one of those good kids that did what his parents wanted and finished high school before "going in."
Now it's February 1946 at the National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. They are bringing the bodies home for re-burial. I think I attended or participated in several hundred. Dick Gross and I were at the funeral because we had all been friends from First Grade through 1942, when Dick and I volunteered for the Navy. We weren't waiting on no Damn Draft.
Dick and I were standing on one side of the Gravesite, Terry's parents were on the other side. The weather was cold and drizzly. All through the Military Ceremony I watched Terry's parents and their sorrow. As the ceremony finished and they handed Terry's mom the folded flag, one thought went through my mind. "Dear God, here are two good people who spent eighteen years of their lives raising a son with all that means and now they get a Flag. God what a waste."