We are so thankful for the men and women who have served our country and defended our freedom!
In the leadup to Veterans Day, we asked veterans across Sagora communities to share their experiences with us, including the lessons they learned and their favorite memories from their time in the US Armed Forces. We’re so thankful for those who shared their experiences with us. Here are the stories from veterans at Bellarose Senior Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Don L. served in the Army National Guard from 1957 to 1963 as part of its Chemical Corps. As a Specialist First Class, Don went through rigorous training at Fort Hood, where he learned discipline and the importance of those that serve. “I did not go to full-time service, only standby,” he said. “I’m thankful to those that served full-time.”
Jack W. served in the US Navy from 1944-1946, where he taught classes about electronics. He enjoyed spending time in San Francisco, calling it a “good liberty town.”
Joe M. served in the US Army as a Finance Officer from 1956-1959. He says he enjoyed the relationships that resulted from his time in the Army and respected the soldiers that trained him. His service resulted in several long-term friendships.
John B. served in the US Air Force for 23 years, from 1965-1988. He worked in technical fields, working as a technical instructor and eventually, a mechanical superintendent. He says he learned to “never quit” and the education he received taught him technical skills and how to manage people.
Bob W. served in the Army from 1946-1947, serving on guard duty and in the carpenter shop. His service afforded him opportunities for more education and a chance to see the world. He says his favorite memory was coming home.
Donald L. served in the Army from 1960-1967, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He says his favorite memory was getting out. Still, his service made a lasting impact on him and imparted a sense of duty that he seeks to share. “Everyone should serve,” he says. “We owe that obligation.”
Gene E. served in the US Air Force as part of its Security Service from 1961-1965. “Our base had the best food!” he says. His time in the Air Force introduced him to analytical thinking, which led him to a career in the computer business.
Jim K. served in the Army from 1952-1954, working as a clerk typist during the Korean War. While in Korea, he was called to the front line. He says he told the person that picked him up he left his rifle. The other servicemember responded, “you won’t need it.” Jim says that his time in the Army left him with “respect for people in authority.”
Glen R. served in the Army from 1967-1970 as a helicopter door gunner during the Vietnam War. His wartime service gave him a different perspective on life, he says. “It taught me how to set priorities and what is really important in life,” he says. “Family, work and college.”
Robert R. served in the Army from 1952-1954 as an Infantryman. Robert says he enjoyed his time in Germany, where he got to explore the country. His time in the service left him with plenty of memories. “The best lesson I learned was respect,” Robert says.
Phil R. served in the Air Force during the 1980s, working in transportation. His service took him to Guam, where he met a couple of lifelong friends. He says he enjoyed learning how to drive “big equipment” and was very proud when his sons followed in his footsteps by joining the military.