War and Home, by Aunt Joanne
I think I mentioned this before, I know that grandmom and Beppa suffered through World War II. My mom said grandmom just shut everything down until her two sons came home, Uncle Joe and Uncle Carmen, also Cousin Carmen was in the service also. It was a sad time in the family. I was too young to know anything. But, later on we had all of these pretty Christmas balls and decorations. My mom said Grandmom had given them to her because she did not celebrate Christmas until the war was over. This may sound unreal, but I do remember being held by my dad and him running through the streets hugging and kissing everybody. Seeing fireworks in the air…the war was over…people were crying, I was three and a half, scared to death.
Even after the war, people did not talk about anything. I remember hearing the air raid siren, scared again. We had to run home or in someone’s home, we did not go far, so you know it was grandmom’s house. Sit on the couch, pull the shades down and listen, for what I still don’t know. Remember we did not have TV, only the radio, scared again.
People would come and check to make sure no one was on the street.
While in school in the lower grades, we had to lay on our stomachs and cover our heads.
I remember being told that Gregorio got gassed in the army in Italy. Not sure what war and suffered from it all his life.
Gregory was in the Korean War and I remember the family talking about it and that he was suffering from a severe allergy when he was sent to Korea. He sent us the Korean dress and dolls from Korea. I know he sent china home to Grandmom and Beppa. It was a time when we received mail from him and we sent mail. It was more open. Of course, we did not talk about the terrible things happening to our boys.
My mom’s family suffered also. Her brother, Anthony (Sonny), was in the Air Force. He was shot down in France and was in the underground for a long time. He was missing so long, they told my grandmother he was dead. They finally got him out of France and was sent home on a ship and was put into a hotel in Atlantic City that was converted into a hospital. He had to be debriefed and taken care of his injuries. My mom said they were not allowed to see him for three months. All she ever told me was they ate cats and dogs to survive. He never talked about it, but he was a very nervous guy. But I loved him. My Uncle Ed was in the Navy and thank God he was not in Pearl Harbor.
When Joe and I got married, we had The Bay of Pigs. He was going to enlist, but it was over too fast.
Danny was called up for Vietnam, but Bobby Rydell pulled some strings and got him in the reserves. I remember that being trying on us.
Of course my son joined the Army to become a doctor and to help the boys that needed him. But, I thank God again he is getting out. He gave them back what he owed them. I am grateful he was able to do that.
I hate war…We are a free country because of those who served. The people of this country MUST realize what we will lose if we go into another type of Government. Love JoAnn