Passing of WWII 101st Veteran - My Wifes Father
Not sure if this is the correct forum?
My wife’s father passed away last night. He was 83 years old.
I just felt compelled to post this for the current men and women serving in our military.
My wife’s Daddy name was Mr. J.L. Beam. I was privileged to have known him for close to 30 years.
Mr. Beam grew up in East Texas near Tyler. There were 5 boys and 2 girls in the family. They were poor sharecroppers - very poor. His father died when he was 3 years old and his mother kept the family together. Mr. Beam only finished the 8th grade due to having to work to help out. 4 of the brothers served in WWII - they were all in combat and all survived.
Mr. Beam joined the Army at age 17 in WWII and he was in the original 101st Airborne Division.
He went thru the training with the original/1st group, and served throughout the war.
He made 2 combats jumps: At Normandy and at Holland(I think?).
He was never wounded. He was in all of the battles.
He was on Eisenhower’s honor guard and was a guard at the Nuremburg trials. He said he took the prisoners to/from the trials.
The Mr. Beam I knew was a kind and gentle man. Mr. Beam did not talk about the war very much. He said one time to me that he could not explain it to a person who had not been in combat because he lived thru and experienced things that he could not believe and it had happened to him.
Mr. Beam had nothing but respect for the German soldiers, and he had no malice towards the German soldiers. He said they were very good soldiers and were excellent fighters.
This next part is important to all of the men and women serving now.
Mr. Beam and other veterans were taken recently - within the last 6 months - to Europe by a wealthy Australian business man. I think there was about 15 or so veterans. Mr. Beam had never been back to Europe after the war, and in fact he did not like airplanes or traveling on them at all. They went to many of the battlefields and area’s in France and Europe where they had fought.
This was in the news and in fact we saw Mr. Beam on one of the national newscasts.
Mr. Beam spoke at many villages in France and the other places. He said that the people are still very grateful to the Americans for what they did for them. Mr. Beam said they are still teaching their children about the sacrifices that Americans made for them.
When Mr. Beam got back home he told us at our house late one night that the trip back to Europe was a good thing for him because he had not been sure for the last 60+ years if the war had been a good thing and worth all of the pain. He said that seeing the country and meeting the people and especially the children - That it was Worth It and he now had a peace about what he had done and been thru.
Mr. Beam was ill and he wanted to go to Washington and to Congress and tell them this: That Freedom is worth fighting for, and the sacrifice of our soldiers to preserve that Freedom is sometimes needed.
I wish I could express with words in a better way - the appreciation, respect, and admiration I have for Mr. Beam, and all of the men/women who have served, and are serving today to preserve our Freedom. You are appreciated.
Thank you, God Bless and God's Protection be upon you all.