Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Hero Remembered

March 11, 1942: General Douglas MacArthur reluctantly abandons the Philippine Islands. He departs vowing:, "I shall return."

In October of 1944, two and a half years later, MacArthur did return. And he brought my Grandfather, A.E. Kranz. Their new tactic was called it, "Island Hopping."  They rapidly proceeded from one area to another, taking each island as quickly and painlessly as possible. An amphibious blitzkreig by the Americans. My Grandfather was in charge of a "tank destroyer." His longest campaign was taking, "the Great Walled City Of Manilla," in the Phillipines.

Once they finished honoring MacArthur's promise, they packed up and targeted a new island. They were en route to Japan when they heard: we had dropped two bombs on the Japanese. A new kind: atomic bombs. And after the second one kissed the sky, the Japanese politely and quietly gave up.

My Grandfather returned a hero. He fathered three children with my grandmother. They gave him five grand children. And before he gave up the ghost last year, he was able to spend some time with his three great grand children.

Thank you, Doe. Not only for the family you helped create and nurture, but also for your sacrifice for our country. The world needs more heroes like you.

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