Thursday, December 08, 2005

You are not gonna believe this . . .

Katie has a column in today's Star Tribune that Spot likes. Likes quite a bit, actually. Katie tells the story of John Hennessy, a merchant marine sailor in WWII. Mr. Hennessy was in a fuel tanker ship that was torpedoed in November, 1944. He was blown out of the ship, managed to find a life boat, climbed in, rescued a couple of his fellow sailors, and floated for days until rescue. While being trailed by the sub that sunk his ship, using them for bait for potential rescue boats.

You do have to hand it to those merchant marine guys. They sailed to hell and back, basically unarmed, and not always with convoy support. You also have to imagine that Hennessy cursed his luck at being sunk by a Nazi submarine in the Indian Ocean in late 1944 after having made it that far from the dark days of 1942.

Part of the column was about how merchant marine sailors were not recognized as veterans until 1988. One of the other sailors that Katie talked to, Mike Boosalis, said this about finally being recognized:
"When we finally got recognition as veterans in 1988," Boosalis said, "I went in for a GI housing loan. The banker took one look at me -- I was 61 -- and said, 'Where have you been?' "

Spot imagines that Boosalis had some stories to tell the banker.

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