My father served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II, ending his naval career as a Second Class Electricians Mate (EM-2). He served on several destroyers throughout the Pacific during World War II, even decommissioning one destroyer at 32nd Street in San Diego. Later, Dad served as part of the occupational forces in Japan after the war ended, serving in Yokosuka, where I later served on USS Midway, the first permanently home-ported aircraft carrier.
Dad grew up in the small farming community of Ioka, Utah, where his mother was the community nurse, postmistress and much more. While Dad's life was hard in this poor community of eastern Utah, he and his two brothers and two sisters were a close knit, loving family who worked hard. Dad's two brothers also served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
After military service, Dad was always active with several activities in the Uintah Basin, driving trucks for a living delivering cargo and mail each day over a small two-lane road over the Uintah mountains. He was active in church and The American Legion, serving in several positions within Roosevelt American Legion Post 64, as district and area commander, department commander and alternate National Executive Committeeman for Utah. He also served for 19 years as president of the Utah Boys State Corporation, something he was deeply proud of.
I have followed in Dad's footsteps through all of my life, enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1967 and serving across most of our small world. I retired in 1987 after having experienced most of our small green and blue planet. I first joined The American Legion in 1969, and for the last nearly 30 years have filled most every position at the post, district, area and as department commander 31 years after Dad served in that same position.
It has also been a great opportunity to serve in the Sons of the American Legion, honoring my father's service before God and country. I have served in most positions at the squadron level, as detachment commander and National Executive Committeeman for Utah. I now serve as post/squadron adjutant and as president of the American Legion Utah Boys State Corporation. Thanks, Dad, for always setting the example and for giving me an excellent education that has benefited me throughout my life. It is an honor to serve on into the future.
AKCS (AW) Bob Jones, USN (ret.)