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Introduction, per instructions...

Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by Retired Redleg, Jul 13, 2018 at 11:48 AM.

  1. Retired Redleg

    Retired Redleg New Member

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    Greetings all!

    Per Otto's instructions, I'd like to introduce myself:

    My name is Jonathan Kovach, I typically go by Jon. My forum name is Retired Redleg. Since most of you are probably military historians, you know that a "Redleg" is a colloquial term for an Artilleryman. I was medically Retired from the Army last year after 19 years of Service as an Artillery Officer. Hence, the name.

    I am 43 years old, but my interest in WWII probably belies my age. I majored in Political Science in College, with a minor in History. Prior to College, I tended to have more of an interest in the Civil War, but as I started studying the historical rise and fall of civilizations and governments, I noticed that war tended to shape political thought and practice throughout most of recorded history. Particularly of note was the period before WWI and then between WWI and WWII. Anyway, long story short, this led me to much more study into the WWII era and also was a huge factor into me requesting, and receiving Germany as my first duty Assignment in the Army, back in 1998.

    I am born and raised in Northeast Ohio in a small town called Alliance. It's about halfway between Canton and Youngstown and almost EXACTLY halfway between Cleveland (1:20) and Pittsburgh (1:24). Nice place to grow up, not a great place to live and have a career as an adult, so when I left to attend Capital University in Columbus, I had, and still have, no desire to return, other than for occasional visits. The Army took me to Germany, then Fort Sill, OK; then to the Army ROTC department at the University of Kentucky. After that assignment, I switched over from Active Duty to full time National Guard. I currently reside in Georgetown, KY; just north of Lexington with my wife of 17 years, my 12 year old son, and 8 year old daughter.

    Because I spent three years in Germany, my primary area of knowledge is in the European Theater. I was part of the planning group for a Staff Ride trip to Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge area. I have also visited the Normandy landing beaches and the drop zone areas and museums there. For those interested in WWI, my unit also did a staff ride to Verdun. I have also visited the Concentration Camp sites at Flossenburg, Dachau, and Auschwitz/ Birkenau; and other areas around Germany like The Nazi Party Rally grounds in Nurnberg, "Eagle's Nest" in Bertchesgarten, Artillery positions near Buhl along the Rhine, etc. Last summer we took a vacation to Hawaii and visited Pearl Harbor, but to date, that's my only real experience with the War in the Pacific.

    My hobbies and interests are mostly sports related. I played College football and was the son of a coach, so I grew up with football, baseball, golf, etc. I try to run and stay physically active, despite having both hips replaced at age 40 (hence, the medical retirement from the Army). My real hobby right now is just being a Father to my kids and shuttling them to and from activities, like Cross-country practice, Dance, piano lessons, horse riding lessons, etc.
    We also, as a family, like to travel. Since my wife and I returned from Germany in 2002, we have gone back to Europe in 2007, 2010, 2013 (I missed this trip because of deployment to the middle east), 2016, and just this past June 7-24th. My kids, in their short lives, have been in the following countries: Iceland, England, France, Germany, and Poland. My Father in Law, son, and I are also on a quest to visit every Major League Ballpark. We currently have 14 of 30.

    My wife's grandfather, who passed away in 1986, was a WWII veteran of the AAF in the China-Burma Theater, and her great aunt was a WAC in the 3341st Signal Service Battalion- the first WAC unit ashore after the Normandy landings. I'm joining this forum mostly to get some information to compete some research for her family on those two.

    It's probably of interest to tell her Great Aunt's story. She enlisted in the WAAC in October 1942. She was in when the WAAC became the WAC n 1 SEP 1943 and deployed to England on 31 March 1944. She was a telephone switchboard operator. She came ashore at Normandy approximately 14 days after the invasion and worked out of a mobile switchboard near the beaches. When Paris was liberated, she and her unit took over the operation of the switchboard there. She remained in Paris for the duration of the war. She was sent to Ft Dix, NJ 9 October 1945 and was discharged on 15 OCT 45. She returned to her hometown of Hamilton, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. When she got home, she told her family that she wanted to return to Paris to help them rebuild after the devastation she saw while there. Her family told her that if she wanted to do that, she would have to figure out her own way, since they didn't have to money to send her back over. So, she went to the Little Sisters of the Poor convent in Cincinnati and became a Nun. She chose the LSP because they had convents in France, and she remembered them caring for the wounded on the beaches and hospitals in Normandy. She took her vows in 1950, returned to France in 1952, and has been there ever since. She just turned 98 on 23 MAY 2018 and is doing pretty well in her convent in Orleans, France. We just visited her in June, and aside from some memory issues, we hope to see her again in 2020 when she turns 100!

    I look forward to being a part of the board. Thanks for letting me join!
     
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  2. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Welcome to the forums!
     
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  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wow, someone who can follow instructions. What's it like? ;)
     
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  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    It's Great to have you here Jon! Thank you for your long and honorable service for this nation, I sincerely appreciate it. I'm both impressed and jealous as to how much you have traveled both in, and outside of the U.S! This is a fantastic source to learn more about anything involving WW2, and ultimately find more about family members in the service. I hope to see and hear from you frequently, and extend a warm welcome.
     
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  5. Retired Redleg

    Retired Redleg New Member

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    Haha. Yes. All those years in the Army, they kinda beat it into your brain. I wasn’t real great at it as a young Lieutenant, but realized that if I wanted to continue to get promoted, I’d better learn to at least give the impression of doing what I was told and keep my bitching and complaining about unnecessary administrata to myself.
     
  6. Retired Redleg

    Retired Redleg New Member

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    Thanks. I’ve surely been blessed to be able to do what I did for so long. I wish I could have drug out the medical retirement process another 7 months to hit my 20, but oh well. My disability percentage is 50%, which is exactly what my regular retirement would have been at 20.
    As to travel, again, lucky to have a great wife who enjoys new experiences and kids who are easy going and don’t make travel a pain. Although, many of the places I have been and seen, like Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Oman, and Lebanon are courtesy of the Army and not places I would have chosen to visit!!
    Again, thanks for the warm welcome.
     
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  7. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    It's great to hear you have a wonderful family, and I am grateful men like you are willing to go to those undesirable and dangerous places to serve our nation, thank you once more...
     
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  8. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    Welcome!
     
  9. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Artillery hey? Ok I’ll type loud...
    Welcome aboard Sir.
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Welcome, great intro.
     
  11. RRA227

    RRA227 Member Patron  

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    Welcome to the forum. Rich A. in Pa.
     

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