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A Arkansas hero passes away

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hogsanity:

I'll post this here, even though few will see it, some mod deemed it unworthy to be on mmqb in a slow time and deleted it.

No, he was not a former player, but someone who deserves a moment of recognition. His name is Alec Boatman, but I knew him as Uncle Alec ( my great uncle actually ). He was born here, and in the early 40's joined the navy. For a boy from Arkansas, he drew a great assignment, stationed on The USS Tennessee and stationed in Hawaii. That great assignment changed his life on Dec 7, 1941. He survived the attack PH, went on to serve through out the Pacific in WWII.

He never returned to live here full time, the Navy moved him to California after the war, and that was home for most of the rest of his life, until this past Saturday, but he never forgot his roots. He went on to be a executive with Eastern Airlines, and in management at the Meadowlands in NJ for a while.

Uncle Alec was the guy at family reunions I always sought out, he was the one with all the interesting stories. He had war stories, travel stories, stories about teams and games and athletes, he had done it all.

The last time I saw him was when he came home to bury his brother, my grandpa, in 2006. I knew then it was the last time I would see him. He was old and frail, but still quick with a story. He sadly lived out his last days like so many do, ravaged by time and Alzheimer's. His ashes will be scattered at the place that changed his life, Pearl Harbor. The perfect resting place for his earthly remains.

He wrote a book about the war. In it, he sought out one of the Japanese pilots who had flown in the attack at Pearl Harbor, went to Japan to meet with him, talk with him, and bury the hatchet, so to speak. Turned out they were very much alike, both from smaller towns, both joining the military to get "grow up", never thinking what it might really entail.

Anyway, this was my last direct link to that time, at the rate wwii vets are dying, too soon none of us will have that anymore. While I was not terribly close to him, I did think his life was worthy enough for me to try to let others know about him.

ballz2thewall:

very nice sentiment and story, sanity. i saw it, then saw it was gone and found it here.

it is a changing of the guard when these folks move on.  it seems to happen casually in some respects. thanks for sharing. i enjoyed the post.

The Chief:

I read your post.  I hope that counts for something.

I really don't know what to say other than the "Greatest Generation" is leaving us.  What will our generation do to fill the void?  I hope when weighed in the balance I'm not found lacking.

hogsanity:


--- Quote from: The Chief on December 17, 2014, 11:11:05 am ---I read your post.  I hope that counts for something.

I really don't know what to say other than the "Greatest Generation" is leaving us.  What will our generation do to fill the void?  I hope when weighed in the balance I'm not found lacking.

--- End quote ---

It does count for something, knowing that one person heard about him, especially someone who serves or has served.

DeltaBoy:

May he Rest in Peace.  Good Story !

pigture perfect:

great eulogy. Thanks for sharing.

warriorlion:

Great read. Thanks for sharing. Lost my 92 year old father in law few weeks ago. WW2 vet that was true example of the greatest generation.  I was blessed to be his son in law the last 24 years.

Rockhawg:

Great post! I enjoyed reading about a true hero. Thanks for sharing.

Blue35:

RIP

oldhawg:

A generation of common men who became heroes.

hogsanity:

Update: His ashes were scattered at Pearl Harbor yesterday. His physical remains now rest with many of those he served with.

PEtrader:

RIP

boatinporker:

Pearl Harbor is just an extremely special place and the realization that so many are entombed just a short distance below the surface makes it doubly so. It is so emotional for most people; I even saw Japanese tourists tear up along with the Americans. I applaude your uncle for his service.

Squealers:

Great remembrance.  Godspeed.

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