In 2014 at the Conneaut D-Day, we met the lovely Mr. Jake Kesiatie, an Army Staff Sergeant who served at the San Marcos Military Hospital in Texas during the war. A first generation American, Mr. K was born in 1918 just as the war was wrapping up. “When I was born they had to end the war... But then they had to start a war for me”.
Near the hospital where he was stationed in San Marcos during the war, was an Army Air Corps training base. One day two trainer planes, with five occupants each, had a head-on crash. Nobody survived, and he was detailed with others to clean up the mess. "There weren’t any bodies, just pieces here and there -arms, legs..." He had to fill ten bags with pieces of the remains of the trainees bodies. It was a terrible memory that made him shudder as he told it to us.
Several times throughout the war Mr K. tried to get shipped to overseas service, but they told him his help at the hospital was too valuable. And it must have been because he spent four years stationed in Texas. He was happy to hear we were from Texas because, besides the war going on, he had happy memories of Texas and the Bluebonnets, and of course the people. Mr. Kesatie may never have seen combat, but his role back home was vital. And for that we are very grateful to him.