Well, this picture is not the best, but it's the story that counts. A week or two ago, at a monthly veterans luncheon we got to celebrate 200 years of birthdays between TWO wonderful veterans: Mr. Santiago Diaz and Mr. Emmett Tiner. For an hour after the lunch we listened to some pretty fabulous stories from their life. After losing a son to malnutrition, Mr. Diaz (pictured) parents emigrated to the US from Mexico when he as 4 months old, hoping to get a new start on life. He was 28 years old, married, and with a 6-month old son when he enlisted in the army in 1943. His wish was to help and protect the country that had given his family a new life. He served in the Pacific at Guadalcanal as a medic attached to the Malaria prevention team. Malaria was a worse killer than combat during the war, and took many many lives. Mr. Diaz dealt with many cases, preforming his duty well and saving countless lives. In 1945, just before the end of he war, one of his proudest moments came: he received his US citizenship.
The other birthday boy, Mr. Tiner, (not in the photo but a very handsome fella) related one story from the Marshall Islands Campaign. After the tremendous capture of Gai Island (which happened to be the first Japanese controlled island we captured during the war, and a whole story in of itself) his parents were listening to the radio one evening, with no idea where their son was. "Kate Smith had a nation-wide radio broadcast once a week. And while my parents at home on the farm had no idea where they were listening and they listened to Kate Smith, and she said, "The selected soldier of the week Lt. Emmett Tiner who put the flag on the first Japanese territory of the war."" What a proud moment for them and all of America! Happy 100th birthday to Mr. Diaz and Mr. Tiner. We wish you many more years of happiness!