Thursday, April 4, 2013

Decorated World War II Army officer returns to Okinawa

People tend to forget (myself included) what a monumental role the U.S. Army played in the Pacific in World War II.  Okinawa was no exception.  The Pacific Theater is so tied to the United States Marine Corps lore and legacy, that other forces tend to get pushed aside somewhat.  British, Australian, and New Zealand forces were also in the mix of hell pushing the Japanese back to their mainland from island to island.

Ted Bell made the trip back to Okinawa, and specifically wanted to go back to the battleground he fought on.
Retired Col. Ted Bell, 93, returned to Okinawa for the first time in more than 67 years, with a documentary film crew that is making a movie about his experiences as a company commander with the 77th Infantry Division. Bell earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during a brutal three-day battle on Ishimmi Ridge. Bell also earned a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars during his 30 years of service. The documentary will air on South Carolina's public television stations in September.
"I want to go back to that ridge," Bell said. "I don't care if I don't see anything else."  
Nothing I type could communicate properly how much our nation owes to veterans like Ted Bell.  My thanks to you, sir and I hope and pray this trip helps you have some closure to your experiences in battle.  He is a warrior to this day and I'm so glad he received some recognition for his service.