Monday, October 3, 2016

Veteran's Day Essay: Willard Giles Humphries

Veteran’s Day Essay
by Emilia Humphries

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to serve in World War II? I have two great grandfathers who served during the war. One served in the Navy and the other was in the Army, but only one fought during the war.

On April 3rd, 1943 a young 20 year-old boy was drafted to join the 914th Army engineers. The 9th out of fourteen children, he had never traveled far from home. That young boy was Willard Giles Humphries, my great grandfather.

One day, while in the Philippines the Company Commander wanted to go up to the front lines but he couldn’t find his driver. He asked if any of the men could drive a truck. My great grandfather told him he had never driven an Army truck but had driven a truck at home. So he was elected. After this, he was a truck driver taking supplies and food to the front lines. He also drove a jeep taking officers to different places. On several occasions he had bullets hit the cab of his truck when he was driving.

Great grandpa Humphries saw 165 days of combat as part of the gun crew. He never like to talk about those sad days. All we know comes from his written history and documents he left behind. It is from his history that we now know that any time he saw children throw away food he was reminded of the children in the Philippines who would eat anything, even out of a trash can.

I am thankful to both of my great grandfathers for their service.  I am grateful for the sacrifices they and their families made so that I can have food, attend any school of my choice and to be safe when I am with my family.