It's My Dad, Ben's, 85th Birthday!

My dad, Ben, served aboard the USS IOWA in the Korean conflict. He never really ever talked about his experiences there, until the IOWA was permanently docked in California's Port of San Pedro . Now it is a museum, and Dad loves taking friends there. He takes people from his church, and anyone else who'll go with him. When I went, they piped him aboard (this is also known as a bosun's call), he is so proud when he receives that honor. And the IOWA docents follow him around to hear his stories. We had a pack of visitors to the ship in our pack that day! But when Dad and I were alone, he told me that while he was serving, as he and a crew member/friend were drinking coffee next to the 5 inch gun turret they worked in, the friend relaxed and took off his helmet. A moment later, he was shot from a craft in the water, and died there next to Dad. It was one of the only times the IOWA was ever fired on. My whole life with him, I had never heard that story.

Melissa Sharpe

Melissa Sharpe

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