POMPTON PLAINS, NJ (WCBS 880) – They witnessed history and in some cases had a hand in shaping it, and now they’re sharing their incredible stories.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports from Passaic County
They are veterans of World War II and Korea who now live out their golden years at the Cedar Crest retirement community in Pompton Plains.
Resident Dora Sinofsky is responsible for having these brave and humble men tell their stories in front of a camera.
“[I’m doing it] because I saw so many of the veterans dying without telling their stories and there are so many, of course, here at Cedar Crest and everybody is 85 and so on.” Sinofsky told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “Almost all the men are veterans.”
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The stories run the gamut from the frontlines to the homefront. Water Ash, 93, manned anti-aircraft guns in Berkeley, California.
“We had gun placements all around Kaiser Shipyards, up in Benicia with the ammunition dump,” says Ash.
Pat Vuolo, 85, was gunners mate aboard an LST (Landing Ship, Tank) in the Pacific Ocean.
“I can’t say that I was scared. I just didn’t think,” says Vuolo. “You do things and you don’t know why. You don’t think about it. You just get on your gun and start shooting.”
His ship stopped low flying Kamikazes.
“They were close enough some guys said they could see the pilot. I don’t remember that, but I guess you could,” says Vuolo.
Sinofsky says the stories are compelling, the lessons invaluable.
LINK: Cedar Crest
“I hope we learn that sacrifice is something that everybody has to do sometime in their life. They were young boys and instead of going to college, they ended gong to war. Many of them didn’t come back,” says Sinofsky.