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Monday, November 12, 2007

Funk's Corner - Veterans Day A Salute To Our Heroes

My hero fought for our country in World War II serving in the United States Navy facing combat duty in Guadalcanal and Mindanao in the Philippines. He was a Boson's Mate on LSM 182, a landing craft that carried the United States Marines from the larger ships in the fleet to the beachhead.

I listened as He told stories of World War II, How when Kamikaze pilots attacked, it looked like they were coming right at LSM 182, however, considering the price the Kamikazes were paying, they were really heading for the bigger ships, the destroyers and aircraft carriers.

He told of how they had to get on the beach and unload the brave troops fast as the mortars behind the ridge used spotters to zero in on landing craft. They fired once to get a reading on their target, then a second round that would give a second reading. You could bet that the third round would be right on target. By that time they had to have their crew off the ship onto the beach and be headed back out to sea for another load of brave Marines ready to hit the beach.

He told of being amazed at how fast once on the beach and under fire that soldiers could dig foxholes and disappear onto the ground. He also talked about the look on their faces just before leaving LSM 182 to take their positions on the beaches of Mindanao and Guadalcanal. These were brave men who knew what they were fighting for and knew some would not survive.

During non combat hours He told of LSM 182 tying up with another ship so He could wrestle the toughest S.O.B. on one of his sister landing craft. He was an all-round athlete. I remember him telling how he would climb to the top of the "Conning Tower" and wait until the waves tilted the ship in the right direction then dive from the conning tower into the South Pacific

On this Veteran's Day I remember my Father, Dory Funk Sr. of the United States Navy. I don't remember seeing my father until I was four years old. When Dad came home and knocked on the door of the "Little House," a converted garage behind my grandparents home, He burst into the kitchen and lifted my mother off the ground and hugged her. I wondered, "Who that man was?"

Our thoughts, prayers, and gratitude are with the young folks who are deployed today in all parts of the world fighting for our freedom.

Here at the Funking Conservatory we Salute the Troops and all who have served and are serving now in the United States Military.

God Bless you all.

Photos of Dory Funk Sr. serving on LSM 182 and diving from the conning tower into the south pacific are on our website at www.dory-funk.com. Go to Veterans Special Heroes

Dory Funk Jr. - Coach of the Funking Conservatory.