As you probably guessed, I am not the first Bill Strubbe. I don’t really know who the first one was; but I was named after my Uncle Bill, William C. Strubbe. Bill was a Marine, and died on a dive bombing run in the Marianas in World War II.
My father, my father in law, and all my uncles and both my wife’s uncles served in the armed forces. As far as I know, Uncle Bill was the only one who actually saw combat. I don’t even know how old he was when he died – but I am sure he was less than 20.
My Aunt Betty described this to me: “Back then it was different. These seventeen year old guys – your son’s age – would volunteer, and be willing to give their life for their country, at the drop of a hat. They didn’t think about it, they just knew they had to do it. They accepted it as part of life. ”
A couple weeks ago, I had Dad’s Marine Corps sword hung in my office. I can’t look at it without thinking of Bill, Dad, and those other men. They sacrificed out of love, and because their families could not continue living the way they had without their courage.
It’s Memorial Day. Thanks, Bill.