Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Laverne Isaac Brendle [1918-1955]

by Larry Simons
December 12, 2011

Today would have been my grandfather’s 93rd birthday. He was taken away from his wife and six children in 1955 at the age of 36. He was a PFC United States Marine and was on board the USS Astoria CL-90 while it sailed in the Pacific after the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was a devoted family man and loved his country. He was a talented illustrator and did illustration work for the government.

My grandpa developed acute myelogenous leukemia, roughly nine years after the bombings, in 1954. It is almost unquestionably certain his leukemia was the direct result of the radiation from the bombs [Even wikipedia states, "The only well-described risk factor for CML [chronic myelogenous leukemia] is exposure to ionizing radiation; for example, increased rates of CML were seen in people exposed to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki"].

The government never took responsibility for this and never compensated any member of his family after his death.

Some would say God had a reason for taking him so young, but my grandmother, who died in 2008, never learned of that reason. Thanks, God.

My grandfather loved his country and gave his life for it, and the government turned its back on him. To the government, my grandfather was just an expendable pawn used for their military agenda. The government has pretended he never existed and has forgotten him, but my family and I never will.

Thank you grandpa and happy birthday. You're my hero.

My grandfather on August 6, 1945, aboard the USS Astoria CL-90, the very day of the Hiroshima bombing. He is holding in his hands a teletype dispatch informing him of the bombing.


rob said...

happy birthday.

Larry said...

You will not post profanity under my grandfathers post. That is where I draw the line. Now, do what you PROMISED you'd do TLNL, you said "I wont be back", and here you are...back again. Leave my blog for good.