ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Old and Interesting Stories from Veterans at the Nursing Home

Updated on December 10, 2013
kmackey32 profile image

Kristie has worked in a nursing home for the last 12 years. She has held titles such a director and assistant director of activities.

Ventrans Social

When I got to work today I had an idea when I saw a veterans social was on the schedule. I received a release for every resident who had a story to tell about being in the military in the 1940's and 50's. All the residents were eager to tell there story and I couldn't wait to hear it. I'm the Assistant Director of Activities and I love my job and enjoy hearing all the old stories. I could have listened for hours.


Robert Searles

Robert Searles is one amazing man and has done a lot of things with his life. This man simply amazes me and I know his entire family must be so proud of him. He was eager to tell his story and I was eager to hear it.

Robert was in the military for 27 years. Robert was in the Navy and served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War and was also a Hurricane Hunter and even road in blimps. He always knew he wanted to be in the military. Even at the age of 17 he skipped school to go and try to enlist just to be turned away, he was told he had to wait to enroll when he turned 18. He stated his target was to fly in the Navy. Robert wrote a book and members of his family would love for him to publish. This man has been through and done a lot in his lifetime. He loved to travel as did his wife of 52 years. They also had three children.

The first thing I was eager to hear about was the hurricane hunting. It's not every day you meet a hurricane Hunter in Olean NY. He informed me they flew into the eye of the hurricanes from 1949 to 54. They had instruments that would tell them which way the hurricane was headed. He enjoyed being able to inform people There base was in Miami. He also stated he couldn't go into a bar and buy his own drinks because people insisted on buying them for him.

When Robert first enlisted in the Navy he only made about $20 a month but he quickly moved through the ranks. He worked with electronics and stated he had been through five crashes. I bet every time he left, his wife was a nervous wreck. He informed me the blimp he was in popped and they landed in some trees.

Robert asked me if I knew what a kamikaze was. I thought it was a drink. He stated it was when the Japanese would fly in there plane, the wheels would be released and then the plain would fly into a ship. It was a flying bomb. The next resident preceded to talk about his first hand experience with a kamikaze.

Bill Button

Mr Button was a pharmacist mate who was in the Navy but was shipped with the Marines. He was on the USA Missouri when it took over Yoka Suma Navel Air force Base from Japan. When I asked him if he ever killed anyone he said, "only two". He informed me the two Japanese men were yelling for help. He was informed the Japanese would have bombs on them so they were instructed to kill them.

Mr. Button enlisted when he was still in high school at 17 years old. He stated he saw a sign and it read, The army makes men and the Navy needs them so he enlisted in the Navy. In one event Mr. Button had a Japanese plane fly into there ships master tower. The Japanese pilot died. The crew gave him a propped military funeral and set him out too sea. He had first had experience of what they call a kamikaze. Mr. Button also talked about the underground hospitals in Japan. He stated they were amazing and much nicer than the ones here in the United States. After 3 1/2 years he decided to get out of the military. He had seen enough and was able to travel around the world.

These two men wanted to go into the military and loved it but not everyone back then was so eager to join so some men were drafted.

Hearl Elwood

Mr. Elwood was drafted into the Army and into WWII. He was not happy because his wife had just had his first baby. He served from 1944 to 46. He did his training at camp Crowder Missouri. At one point he was ready to go over seas but went to Indian Town Gap because the war had ended and Japan had surrendered. When Mr Elwood was discharged he was discharged as military police.

Mr. Elwood talked about having German prisoners and they weren't locked up. Apparently they were not worried about any of them escaping because they had it so good in the United States. He was amazed as one could even take a piece of wood and carve a person's face in it. His pay was only 10.25 a month after he had to pay his own insurance.

Eugene Zalewski

Mr. Zalewski served during the Korean War from April 1952 to 54. He was also drafted. He did his basic training in Indian Town Gap for 17 weeks. He went to Germany for 18 months. At that time military men received a furlough. He remembers the best part was getting a furlough to go to England to visit his brother. Military men were allowed 30 days a year.

Many of these men feel the United States has war then the United States builds them up again. It's been going on for years. I felt like I could of talked to these men for hours with all the stories they had to tell me but it was time for work to end and I had to go home.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)