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Tell Them What I Means to You

Remembering my father (Bob McAllister, upper photo) and his brother (Warren “Bud” McAllister), World War II veterans, on this #VeteransDay.

My father enlisted in the Army Air Corps (forerunner to the Air Force) right out of high school, but the war was ending by the time he was shipped to the Pacific. He ended up seeing more action on the group’s basketball team, which won the Far Eastern championship. Dad, who died nine years ago just short of 84, always said his 7-years-older brother was the true hero. Indeed,

Bud, shown here in 1943, was a bomber pilot for the Eighth Air Force, whose perilous missions were flown over Nazi Germany. As noted in “Masters of the Air” by Donald L. Miller, “In 1943, an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of completing his tour of duty, twenty-five missions.” Bud saw most of his buddies killed. But he returned and eventually became a colonel before retiring. He died at 94.

All our veterans are heroes. Thank them for their service. Tell them what it means to you.

Ray McAllister, former columnist of The Richmond Times-Dispatch and former editor of Boomer Magazine, is the award-winning author of six books, including four on North Carolina’s islands. Through Beach Glass Books, he is also the publisher of 10 books by other authors.