Skip to main content

I had the great pleasure of meeting an eighty-nine year old World War II veteran and his wife while out canvassing to Recall Walker yesterday afternoon.  When I explained to him what I was doing, he sat up and invited me to come and chill next to him on the porch swing for a while.  We talked for a bit and after telling him I had graduated with a history major focusing on World War II-era classes, he perked up and told me how of the various places he had been stationed.  He then let on that he had served in the U.S. Navy during the pivotal, infamous and terrifyingly bloody Battle of Okinawa.  He went on to describe the terrible devastation wreaked upon the sailors on the ships around the island as the Japanese military resorted to desperate kamikaze attacks and for the Marines who had to undertake the horrifying task of going hill by hill, tunnel by tunnel, with their weapons and flame throwers, as the Japanese soldiers on the island refused to come out and surrender.

After I learned he'd lived in Wisconsin his entire civilian life, I asked him if he'd ever seen a politician come along that was as ruthless as Governer Scott Walker.  He sat quietly and pondered my question for a few seconds, then shook his head and said, "No, I've never seen anyone like Walker.  Never."  Although he and his wife weren't overly enthused about Tom Barrett, they were looking forward to putting their absentee ballots in the mail tomorrow with their votes cast for Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell because "We just have to...we have to get Walker out of there."  We could not have been any more in agreement.

I sheepishly told him that I could talk with him all day long but I had to get back to work knocking on more doors.  I made it clear I had appreciated the brief respite and the warm conversation and thanked him for his dutiful service to our country, telling him it was an honor to have the opportunity to meet him, a World War II veteran, on Memorial Day of all days.  He somberly reminded me, "There aren't many of us left, anymore," a harrowing fact that was not lost on me as several minutes later I came to the house of a widow whose husband, another veteran of World War II, had passed away in recent years.  

As I prepared to depart, he thanked me several times for what I was doing, saying he was proud to see "young people like you" out doing what needed to be done to reclaim our state and we bid our goodbyes.  A proud, lifelong Wisconsinite and veteran of the most catastrophic war in human history, in the fight against fascism abroad, thanking ME and by proxy, all of us, for what we are doing for his state, in the fight against fascism at home.  I could barely bring myself to leave...moments like that don't exactly come along every day.  

This was unquestionably one of the most humbling experiences of my life and a pointed reminder of what we're fighting for and why we need to keep fighting.  I want to live in a Wisconsin that not only the Greatest Generation can be proud of, or a Wisconsin that my generation can be proud of, but a Wisconsin that all future generations can be proud of.  We have history to make...not just for Wisconsin but for the United States of America.  There is simply too much riding on this to lose on June 5th.  For everything he did for our country and our state, I refuse to let Jack Loew down...Solidarity, my friend.

Originally posted to Wisco Wherls on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and German American Friendship Group.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site