Take the AARP Smart Driver course and you could save on auto insurance! Sign up today.

Reply
Valued Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
3201
Views

Re: Do you have a story about a war buddy you can share?

3,201 Views
Message 11 of 30
Did you serve with G22
Live For Today, No One is Guaranteed a TOMORROW !
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
3201
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
3375
Views

Re: Do you have a story about a war buddy you can share?

3,375 Views
Message 12 of 30

My dad, David Shiffman grew up on the South side of Chicago during the depression. He was awarded a scholarship to Eureka College on a program where he would work part of the year and then take classes. This ended in 1943 when he was drafted. He did not speak of the war except to tell us funny stories but when us kids found out about a commendation he was given, he told us the following story. 

He was a demolition specialist in company A of the 124th armored engineers battalion with Patton's 3rd Army. In May of 1945 they were involved in the crossing of the Isar River in the area of Austria and Bavaria. The bridge had been blown up by the Germans and our troops who had crossed in rafts were stuck on the other side while the enemy were shooting down from above. A machine gunner at the destroyed bridge was killed and my dad ran out to man the gun. People would run out and bring him ammo when he ran out. We had alot of casualties and my dad's commanding officer broke down under the strain. My dad took him to the rear out of sight of the men and then commandered a farmers boat to ferry the wounded back over to our side of the river under fire. After the battle, a number of men were to be awarded medals including my dad's commanding officer. My dad was an idealist and refused to take a silver star if the lieutenant was going to get one.  Everyone in the unit saw what had happended so they issued him a written commendation instead. On the commendation he is listed as a jackhammer operator. I think they did this in the event my dad was captured so the Germans would not try to find out about our demotition capabilities. He taught this skill at Pasadena City College and shipped out just before D Day. He was later wounded while in Bavaria. They had received some surrendering Hungarian calvary that rode horses and my dad was able to take some recovery time taking care of the horses which were a rare and select breed. They were afraid the local people would kill and eat them due to food shortages. My dad got to go to college at UCLA on the GI bill, had a successful career as a businessman, and later was the longest servilng Mayor of Santa Barbara, CAIMG_1011 (1).JPG

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
3375
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
2957
Views

Re: Do you have a story about a war buddy you can share?

2,957 Views
Message 13 of 30

My Buddy Al

 

    During a six month training period in the Caribbean I developed a close friendship with a fellow marine, Al Spinilli.  By the time this training ended, we had become best buddies.  Upon completing the training we both went home for a brief leave before being re-assigned.  We swore that we would keep in touch,…but life in the marines was moving fast.  The two weeks vacation I spent with my beautiful wife seemed to vanish in an instant.  Just one week after that break I was on an airplane headed to the Vietnam War.  My time in Vietnam was busy.  By the end of my first day in Vietnam I had been promoted to corporal and put in charge of a battalion devision called Special Services.  I thought about Al occasionally, but those thoughts didn’t linger long. 

 

   One day in late October of 1967 I was walking across our makeshift marine corps camp.  During that walk I crossed paths with some marines from an outside battalion.  I was told they had just finished a deadly operation and had been brought into our camp for a hot meal. These poor guys were heavily ladened with the tools of war. They were covered in mud and their energy level seemed so low for marines.  In the movies, war is sometimes pictured as glorious,…even glamorous.  There was nothing glorious or glamorous about what these guys had just been through.  There wasn’t a happy face among them.

 

   Then it happened.  Walking right in front of me was my buddy Al Spinilli.  As our eyes met I almost cried.  Al looked so miserable.  I ran over and stepped in the column to walk beside him.  We were only able to talk until we reached the edge of our camp,…about a three minute walk.  Al and I had spent six months of training as inseparable friends,…now we only had three minutes to spend together. There was no joy, no reminiscing, and so little time to talk.  Al had just witnessed the brutal murder of one of our mutual friends from our Caribbean training, and it weighed heavy on his mind.  Our entire conversation was spent with Al describing the horrific death of this friend. 

 

    Almost before I could blink an eye he was gone.  I have never seen or heard from him since.  

I don’t know anything more about Al’s time during this awful war, but I can tell you this,…Just being a soldier who had to participate in that war makes Al, and those like him, heroes.  If you happen to read this article, and know of the whereabouts of my buddy Al Spinilli,…call me.  I’m in the book.

 

    Speaking of books,…I have written a book about my Vietnam War experiences.  It is published at Amazon kindle books.  If you’re up for some recreational reading type, My War, The Story Of A  Reluctant Soldier, by Gene Opfer in your computer, phone, iPad, or tablet’s search bar, and it will pop right up. Scan 4 7.03.41 PM.jpgScan (1).jpg

Gene Opfer
Report Inappropriate Content
Tags (1)
0
Kudos
2957
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
2963
Views

Re: Do you have a story about a war buddy you can share?

2,963 Views
Message 14 of 30

My Buddy Al

 

    During a six month training period in the Caribbean I developed a close friendship with a fellow marine, Al Spinilli.  By the time this training ended, we had become best buddies.  Upon completing the training we both went home for a brief leave before being re-assigned.  We swore that we would keep in touch,…but life in the marines was moving fast.  The two weeks vacation I spent with my beautiful wife seemed to vanish in an instant.  Just one week after that break I was on an airplane headed to the Vietnam War.  My time in Vietnam was busy.  By the end of my first day in Vietnam I had been promoted to corporal and put in charge of a battalion devision called Special Services.  I thought about Al occasionally, but those thoughts didn’t linger long. 

 

   One day in late October of 1967 I was walking across our makeshift marine corps camp.  During that walk I crossed paths with some marines from an outside battalion.  I was told they had just finished a deadly operation and had been brought into our camp for a hot meal. These poor guys were heavily ladened with the tools of war. They were covered in mud and their energy level seemed so low for marines.  In the movies, war is sometimes pictured as glorious,…even glamorous.  There was nothing glorious or glamorous about what these guys had just been through.  There wasn’t a happy face among them.

 

   Then it happened.  Walking right in front of me was my buddy Al Spinilli.  As our eyes met I almost cried.  Al looked so miserable.  I ran over and stepped in the column to walk beside him.  We were only able to talk until we reached the edge of our camp,…about a three minute walk.  Al and I had spent six months of training as inseparable friends,…now we only had three minutes to spend together. There was no joy, no reminiscing, and so little time to talk.  Al had just witnessed the brutal murder of one of our mutual friends from our Caribbean training, and it weighed heavy on his mind.  Our entire conversation was spent with Al describing the horrific death of this friend. 

 

    Almost before I could blink an eye he was gone.  I have never seen or heard from him since.  

I don’t know anything more about Al’s time during this awful war, but I can tell you this,…Just being a soldier who had to participate in that war makes Al, and those like him, heroes.  If you happen to read this article, and know of the whereabouts of my buddy Al Spinilli,…call me.  I’m in the book.

 

    Speaking of books,…I have written a book about my Vietnam War experiences.  It is published at Amazon kindle books.  If you’re up for some recreational reading type, My War, The Story Of A  Reluctant Soldier, by Gene Opfer in your computer, phone, iPad, or tablet’s search bar, and it will pop right up. Scan 4 7.03.41 PM.jpgScan (1).jpg

Gene Opfer
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
2963
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
2750
Views

Re: Looking for Warbuddy Valdez

2,750 Views
Message 15 of 30
I would like to honor my Uncle James William Valentine who was KIA on Luzon, in the Philippines on 25 Jan.1945. He enlisted 5/7/1941 in the Army and achieved the rank of SGT. My mother, his baby sister is 98 years old now and still has a good mind. For the past year I have been trying to get his records and medals. After filling out the form for archives I was informed I must pay $70.00 for his docs. Incidentally, the records are partial as the originals were supposedly in that well-known fire. Through Senator Booker, I was able to secure his medals although I believe that during WWII, if you were KIA, you got the Purple Heart. That I am not sure of. Anyway, Uncle Jim got a Bronze Star and in that era, medals did not come easy. I would like to know what he did to garner that award. I would also like to present a shadow box of his medals and docs to my mom. She is the last of the Valentines. I am retired now and do not have the extra 70.00 to give to Archives for something such as this. I wrote up to the White House, where my letter was sent off to Archives and I received the same response as before. Having been assigned to the IG office during my service time I know there is generally a waiver for all sorts of things. Uncle Jim was in Co G, 103 INF, 43 DIV. He enlisted out of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA. He is buried in the Homestead Cemetery, Homestead, PA. No wife or children. I sure would appreciate any help with finding information on him.
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
2750
Views
Info Seeker
1
Kudos
2778
Views

Re: Looking for Warbuddy Valdez

2,778 Views
Message 16 of 30
Yes we are both standing i have the hat on
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
2778
Views
Info Seeker
1
Kudos
2769
Views

Re: Looking for Warbuddy Valdez

2,769 Views
Message 17 of 30

I'm the one with the hat we are both standing 

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
2769
Views
Silver Conversationalist
0
Kudos
2621
Views

Re: Looking for Warbuddy Valdez

2,621 Views
Message 18 of 30

And which one are you? The guy with the mustasch? Just asking for clairety, I don't know him but want to make sure of the info for others. 

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
2621
Views
Info Seeker
2
Kudos
2589
Views

Looking for Warbuddy Valdez

2,589 Views
Message 19 of 30

We were Aero Scouts in Vietnam hunter killer teams. His last name was Valdez was hurt on a concussion run and was severely wounded but alive. I remember about two days before that happen we had gone to be fitted for some clothing to take back home with us. Last time i saw him was in Qui Nhon hospital he had lost his right hand and leg and possibly his right eye. I remember him as if  it were yesterday and this was forty eight year ago.    

 

Joseph ConcepcionViet40.jpgValdes to my leftVIET2.JPGViet41.jpg13781689_10154294285919242_2799967689246520501_n.jpg      

Report Inappropriate Content
2
Kudos
2589
Views
Community Manager
0
Kudos
2674
Views

Re: Do you have a story about a war buddy you can share?

2,674 Views
Message 20 of 30

@Brooklyn62 You will be contacted if your story will be featured.  Thanks!

AARPTeri
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
2674
Views
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Have you taken a memorable trip to a destination others should know about? Post a Trip Report


city skyline captured on tablet