This issue of Lightframe is dedicated to Don Irwin an American Hero. Chance places us at opportune moments in life. Read on how our trip to Epcot turned into an opportune moment with an American Hero!
Viv and I had begun our journey at the French Pavilion in World Showcase earlier in the morning. Our journey "around the world" continued to Japan and Morocco. Lunchtime was just minutes away and we had made plans to have lunch at the German Pavilion feasting on the succulent bratwurst served there and quenching out thirst with some fine German beer. It brought back memories of when we lived in Germany many years ago and we would look for those famous bratwurst stands in downtown Nuremberg. We wanted to eat inside since it afforded us some cool air conditioned comfort and we could enjoy our feast. Once inside noting that all tables were occupied I went in line and left Viv to pounce on a table once someone decided to leave. As I stood in line a kind couple offered us to join them at their table.
|Geneva and Don|
|Don Irwin - An American Hero!|
|CV-6 USS Enterprise 1941|
His time on the "Big E" placed him at the forefront of crucial historical events. On April 18th 1942 Don was on the USS Enterprise serving as flagship and escort to sister ship USS Hornet. From Hornet's deck brave pilots and crews were the "tip of the spear" delivering the United States first response to the Empire of Japan. Sixteen B25 bombers headed toward Japan to bomb Tokyo and other cities. Also known as the Doolittle Raid, the action had repercussion on both sides of the Pacific. Japan realized that it was still vulnerable from the onslaught of a Pacific Navy. For the American people, after tragic losses at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines and Wake Island, the raid raised American spirits and the message was that America was not down and out but fighting back.
|USS Enterprise CV-6 En route to Midway 1942|
|US Enterprise CV-6 Battle of Midway 1942|
I asked Don if he committed all of his exploits and experiences to paper. He is planning on doing that. I hope so because we need to tell the story again and again about these great heroes from the Greatest Generation. Their youth was dedicated to service for their country, their youth was riddled with pain, death and struggle, their courage allowed them to "step up" and answer the call. We owe so much to all these men and women who gave so much. We left Don and Geneva with a promise that we would spread the word about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The next Wheelchair Games will be in Philadelphia August 12-17, 2014. The torch has been passed by Don and his shipmates to a new generation of veterans who have answered the call. Let's support them. And remember that freedom is never free! God Bless Don, Geneva and all of America's veterans!
If you'd like more information on the National Veterans Wheelchair Games Association and how you can help. Here is the link: National Veterans Wheelchair Games