Friday, 12 October 2012 00:00
The following are two essays submitted by Oyster Bay residents, Ronan Glynn and Sam Mantovani, who each sent in stories about their own grandfathers. These are the third and fourth essays to be printed in the series, which were submitted by our readership for the Anton Newspapers Military Heroes Essay Contest with the American Airpower Museum of East Farmingdale and The Collings Foundation. Essay winners flew in historic aircraft stationed at the American Airpower Museum over the Labor Day weekend.
By Ronan P. Glynn
My Grandpa Stuart Joseph Balderston is my family war hero. He grew up in a small town called Little Falls, NY and was born in 1922. He fought in World War II and was promoted to Staff Sergeant from Private.
He was in the Army Corps of Engineers where he built bridges. He fought in D-Day when he was 20 years old.
He was scared when they stormed the beach of Normandy.
My grandpa was a hero because after he died, a friend of his from Little Falls told my mom that he saved the lives of his friends’ whole platoon.
He ran into his friend, Gressler, on the beach at Normandy and told his friend to dig his platoon’s foxholes next to the cliffs and dig them really deep because the German planes would come each night and shoot their guns along the beach. Because of what my grandpa told his friend he saved his friend’s whole platoon.
While grandpa was in the war his mother died on Christmas Eve and he was very sad and never liked Christmas Eve again.
My grandpa visited Normandy again on the 50th anniversary of D-Day with his son, Kris. Every year on Memorial Day my grandpa went to the local cemetery and put flags on all the graves of the soldiers.
He died in 2005 and he was 83. He was proud to serve his country, and I’m proud of the sacrifice my grandpa made for me.
My Grandpa is my hero.
By Sam Mantovani
My grandpa, Andrew Mantovani, is really awesome. He did many jobs like selling peanuts at Yankee Stadium and being a lawyer, and the most important job was as one of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) heroes of the Korean War.
My grandpa was only 17 when he joined the Marines. He joined because fighting for our country was the right thing to do.
I asked my grandpa what Semper Fi means, and he said, “Always faithful to our country, to our comrades and to the USMC.”
My grandpa said that the Marines are the greatest fighting team in our country. He also said the Marines are proud of each other and have each other’s back. They count on each other with their lives.
Let me tell you about the Korean War. Korea is in Asia. The south part of Korea was good. The U.S.A. sent the Marines to help them. The south was fighting for freedom. We believe in freedom too and that is why we went to help.
Grandpa was in the Landing of Inchon, the Battle of Wonson, the Battle of Seoul, and the Chosin Reservoir. He earned two bronze battle stars.
His headquarters were in the hills and mountains of Korea. They call them command posts. The general was General Douglas MacArthur. He was in charge of the whole military.
Grandpa’s rank was private first class, but when he left, he was a corporal. His jobs were as soldier in the fields, radio operator, and he also worked on battleships.
He followed his orders as best he could. He was one of the best Marines ever.
So if there is a soldier in your family, you might want to write about him or her because I started this whole project to write about my grandpa, who is a hero.