Monday, February 21, 2011

Brothers at War

A couple of weeks ago my wife was gathering material for a presentation I would give to the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (Florida). All of GSPBC’s meetings in the 2010 – 2011 season are based upon Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s book “Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History.” The book is a companion to the NBC television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” That particular presentation was based upon chapter five of the book: “Marching Orders: Did Your Ancestors Serve?”

One of the things my wife found was a photograph of my father (James Ralph Vick) and his brother (Robert Edward Vick, Sr.) at the memorial to war correspondent Ernie Pyle. The memorial is on the tiny island of Ie Shima which is off the western coast of Okinawa, Japan. The photograph was taken at the end of World War II when my father and his brother crossed paths on Okinawa and went out to Ie Shima. My father had been on Okinawa since the invasion of the island. His brother had come up from the Philippines after heroic action there that resulted in him receiving the Silver Star.

My dad and uncle were a long way from home in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, USA. Fortunately, they would return safely in a few months.