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Blaise Vallese Article "World War II in the Eyes of Blaise Vallese" The experiences of World War II differs in the eyes of every veteran, and because of these different experiences, every story is a new aspect of the war. These experiences remain with one for a lifetime. All these stories are unique and equally important in showing how a nation, under the unity of its people, proved to the world that they were powerful. In order to prevent another such war, it is important to remember the sacrificed lives and consequences that have scarred the people of this nation. As the "greatest generation" fades, it is important to understand the significant role they played in the shaping of our country today. Buried deep in the hearts and minds of every veteran are their many unforgettable memories. From these memories veterans can reflect and realize what precious treasures they have gained as they endured the many experiences World War II has offered them.

The efforts of these veteran will never be forgotten as the stories of these heroes are passed from generation to generation. To fully appreciate the sacrifices of these veterans, it is important to pay close attention to what knowledge they have to share. We can learn from their mistakes or follow in their footsteps but either way we must take interest before it is too late. Without the help of these important veterans, our view of World War II might not be what it should have been. The same mistakes could just have easily been made and another world war could have surfaced. To these heroes we owe every aspect of our life. These veterans came from all over the nation to defend and honor our country. One of these veterans, to whom we owe, is seventy-nine year old Blaise Vallese.

At the age of nineteen the veteran, from Providence, Rhode Island, decided to postpone his two years of medical school in order to help his country in desperate need. Vallese knew that the war was more important than his education, so as a result he enlisted in the Army. Vallese knew he would never regret this opportunity to honor the United States. Men like Vallese were an essential part of the success of the U.S. in World War II. Without proud men like him, the country would not be as strong as it is today. Vallese is currently retired and residing in Pensacola, Florida. Vallese is one of the many World War II survivors that has decided to share his experiences.

One thing that every veteran remembers of World War II is his or her personal experiences, such as training and life threatening combat. Like many other veterans, Vallese remembers vividly the haunting Sunday morning, when the striking news cried out, "Pearl Harbor has been bombed!" His first reaction was similar to everyone else's at the time, "where is Pearl Harbor?" Looking back now, he can reflect, "I guess that our geography wasn't where it should have been at the time." Shortly after this incident, Vallese came to realize the significance of the bombing. He then understood the crucial role that he and his generation would soon have to play. Touched by the words of President Roosevelt, "this day will live in infamy," Vallese then followed in the footsteps of many Americans and gave up his career to help the country. Inspired by such a mass trend, the nineteen year old prematurely abandoned his college education and his grieving parents to enlist in the Army. From the beginning, Vallese's experiences of war was hell. After growing up as a child with the hatred for water, he knew that he wanted to escape his nightmare by joining the Army, "every time I heard the word water or sea, I started the shivering." Unfortunately, that is precisely where the Army placed him, with the Amphibious Brigade at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. "When I heard "˜amphibious,' I said geez, that means water!" Vallese knew he was training to be a water engineer. For the next couple of years he would be dropping boats on the shores of beaches. During his time in the Pacific Islands, Vallese's nightmare became reality. Here in the midst of the war he tasted the true bitterness of war, "once you start making that run to the beach, and those shells and everything just popping around you, you just hoped one didn't land in your boat, and not just kill you but the thirty-six troops that you were carrying." Vallese realized then, "hey, this is for real, I could get killed!" But Vallese, like many brave survivors, lived to tell their story.

Blaise Vallese had no idea what he was about to withstand while enlisted in the army. Although he thought the Army would get him away from the water, that was not the case, "all I did for the next three years was play around with landing boats." During his three years as an engineer, he was stationed on a destroyer. On his many trips, he experienced, first hand, the reality of war. He has seen brave men lose their lives defending their country. Through these memories, he realized that his sacrifices within the Amphibious Brigade was inconsequential to those made by the brave soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. Although Vallese experienced many things during his time in service his predictions of the war was far from the reality. Even though it was a nightmare, he never came to regret his decision to join the Army.

To Vallese, the most memorable part of the war was the finish. He remembers clearly that August day. Vallese was in the Phillipines when the news broke, "its over, its all over.... the Americans dropped an A-Bomb on Hiroshima!" Although he did not ineptly know what the A-Bomb was or its significance, he was enlightened a couple days later that, "Nagasaki got walloped." As Vallese reached the shores of Japan, he was informed by the other men that the A-Bomb was the most spectacular sight, and it completely wiped out both cities. For Vallese this news ended his nightmare. Its was an unforgettable end to an unforgettable war.

To all the veterans, World War II has altered a major part of their lives. Many veterans took their experiences of war as basic life training. From this foundation, they have built their entire lives. Close bonds and friendships have been formed along the lines of these experiences. For Vallese, World War II brought about many changes in his life. There, in the heat of battle, he learned the true meaning of "brother love." He explains it as, "guys that you served with, guys that were like brothers to you, guys that you trusted your life with, and you knew that you didn't have turn your back on them." These are priceless memories that all veterans share. This special breed possesses a unique characteristic that their World War II experiences has given them. Of all the things he has obtained from World War II, Vallese cherishes most, the lasting friendships. To Vallese, these memories and bonds eclipses all the horrors of war. As each veteran looks back now, he or she can reflect on what they have accomplished. Now they can come to realize all the pain and suffering that they went through was worth the freedom, the opportunity, and the pride. "I never had a regret on going to the war, I was proud to serve my country." Every veteran has a different view on World War II but all have no regrets. It is important to pay close attention to each experience that is shared with us. This great victory came with effort of millions of proud veterans. Many veterans all over the United States gave up their lives and lifestyle to participate in World War II. These veterans knew the sacrifices they would have to make for their country. It was the efforts of veterans like these that led a nation to a proud victory. Without people like Blaise Vallese, America might not be what it is today. The knowledge that these veterans share, can serve as a looking glass into the past. The story of every veteran is like another piece to the puzzle of World War II. The completed puzzle helps educate "this generation " of the important sacrifices made that shaped the world and lives of everyone today.