Written by Mr L. G. Staples of Akron, Ohio and spoken by Gary Sinese at a tribute to veterans. In the summer of 1942 he was nineteen years old a signalman 3rd class on the USS Astoria stationed in the south pacific.
One hot night in August we found ourselves skirmishing with the Japanese for control of Guadalcanal. At midnight my work detail was over, still wearing my work detail clothes of dungarees and a T-shirt I fell into an exhausted sleep. Two hours later I was awoken abruptly by the sound of an explosion. I jumped to my feet heart pounding and without thinking I grabbed my life belt and strapped it on. After the enemy fire ceased the men left standing helped with the wounded while others manned the guns.
I was making my way toward a gun turret when suddenly the deck disappeared, immediately I inflated my life belt weak with relief that somehow I had managed to put it on. Four agonizing hours past when I saw a ship an American destroyer.
The sailors through me a line and hauled me aboard, I was fed and transported back to the Astoria which though disabled was still afloat. The hours past it became clear that our vessels was damaged beyond help. Finally the Astoria began to roll and go under, the last thing I wanted to do was go in the water again.
Filled with dread I jumped off the sinking ship and began swimming luckily I was soon picked up by another destroyer, against all odds I had made it...
Watch the video and see how this touching story ends.
Gary Sinese is a big supporter of the troops in the field as well as veterans of past wars we salute you Mr Sinese.
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