Thursday, June 06, 2013

WWII Veterans mark D-Day at the Arizona State Capitol



WWII Veterans mark D-Day at the Arizona State Capitol

To mark the 69th Anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Rep. Andrew Sherwood, D-Tempe (District 26), invited some honored guests to join him at the Arizona Capitol.

Four visitors from Honor Flight, including three Arizona veterans of World War II, shared their stories with the legislators at the Arizona House of Representatives. Honor Flight is a volunteer organization that brings WWII veterans to see their memorial in Washington D.C. The first trip was in 2009, and Honor Flight brought 12 veterans to the nation's Capitol. Since then, Honor Flight has brought more than 100,000 veterans to see the WWII memorial.

“These are the veterans from our greatest generation,” Sherwood said. “They represent the gold standard of American character. I was hoping that they would help set a good example for us at the Legislature!”

Sherwood introduced three veterans from the floor of the House of Representatives:

  • Roland D. Ptak served in the Navy Air Corp V-5 program. His missions were simple: chase submarines, escort convoys and provide rescue support. Ptak saw active duty from the Panama Canal to the Azores. It is for those efforts that he received the WWII and Atlantic Theatre Medals for his service.

  • Marvin “Murph” Murphy enlisted in the Navy in 1945. In 1946, Murphy boarded the USS Rockingham which transported U.S. soldiers between Hawaii and San Francisco. Then in April, the ship headed for the Pacific for Operation Crossroad-Atomic Bomb Testing. He later went back to the United States, where he was part of a decommission team for the USS Amsterdam and the USS Shangri La. Murphy’s service came to an end in 1948.

  • John F. Cardozo is a WWII veteran of the U.S. Navy. He served from 1942 to 1945. He served on the Naval Destroyer Escort Gilligan 508. Cardozo participated in four invasions at Okinawa. He shot down seven planes, sunk two Japanese submarines and a schooner. Cardozo survived a Kamikaze attack and multiple torpedo strikes and covered more than 90,000 miles of water while he was on duty.
“I really wanted to thank these men and all our nation’s veterans for their service,” Sherwood said. Additionally, he thanked Susan Howe, an Honor Flight volunteer, who joined the veterans at the Arizona Capitol.

“Susan is the Honor Flight hub coordinator and has been involved with the organization for the past five years. In this year alone, she has helped 114 veterans get to our nation’s Capitol to see their memorial,” Sherwood said. “She has another four trips planned in the fall. I want to thank her for the work she is doing to honor the people who have served our country so well.”

Sherwood added that he supports the mission of Honor Flight and looks forward to meeting more veterans and hearing their stories.

“I am inspired by the service of our veterans and by the spirit of volunteerism present in Honor Flight,” Sherwood said. “I hope the veterans enjoy this final mission and accept our sincere gratitude.”

For more information on Honor Flight, go to www.honorflight.org.

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