Karen Sisk talks about an ongoing effort in Warner Robins to pay tribute to local World War II veterans.
Q: What new plans are there to honor local World War II veterans?
A: Several things are in the works. The next is Monday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. when we’re inviting the public to come and hear Keath Morgan speak about his experiences during World War II. We’d especially like young people and school children to come, but everyone is invited and should come.
Q: Where will it be?
A: In the gymnasium of Green Acres Baptist Church at 901 Elberta Road in Warner Robins.
Q: What is Morgan’s background?
A: He was in the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles, and was at the Battle of the Bulge. It’s interesting to me that he was involved in “liberating” Hitler’s kitchen curtains. He has a lot of stories.
Q: Will this be a regular event?
A: We hope to do one every month this year. If it goes well we’d like to continue and include Korean, Vietnam and other veterans from recent years. It’ll be good to hear their stories but there’s another part to it. We’re inviting our World War II veterans to come at 11 a.m. to sit around and talk and get to know one another. They’ve expressed interest in getting to know each other because many of them have never really met even though they’ve lived here so long. After that, we’ll serve them lunch and then we’ll have the talk for them and for the public at 1 p.m.
Q: Who serves lunch?
A: The Perry Rotary Club volunteered for this one. We’re looking for other organizations, groups and individuals to do future ones. It’s free for the veterans and a family member, caregiver or whoever. So, hey, if you’re out there and want to do a meal, let me know.
Q: There’s clearly a connection between Warner Robins’ history, Robins Air Force Base, World War II and these veterans — would you briefly talk about it?
A: In 1942 the Army opened Wellston Army Air Depot here to help the war effort. The community was called Wellston but was changed in honor of Gen. Augustine Warner Robins and the base became Robins Air Force base. The city grew with the base and part of that came from so many World War II veterans coming to work in civil service jobs and raise families after the war. So our heritage is closely tied. Of course, many more came like families that transferred here in the 1960s after bases closed in Mobile and Savannah and other places.
Q: Why such a personal interest in these elderly veterans?
A: My dad. He was in World War II and I wish we’d done this while he was alive. I have a real soft spot because of my dad who served in the Pacific
Q: His name?
A: Grady Sisk. He was in the Navy as an aircraft mechanic, a metalsmith. We moved from Savannah to here in ‘66 so this is home. I’m a member of the Warner Robins Heritage Society. We’ve been trying to round up and contact veterans for years.
Q: If a World War II veteran or someone who knows a veteran hears of this and wants to be a part, how should contact you?
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 478-491-4455. You can find us on facebook.com by searching War Time Story Time.
Q: You mentioned other plans, like what?
A: June 6 is the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Warner Robins Heritage Society is making plans to sponsor something then. On Nov. 2, Habitat for Humanity Houston County is having their big gala at the Museum of Aviation and will honor all veterans. They’ll have a free meal for them.
Q: What else?
A: Just that we owe such gratitude to these men and women, all our veterans, but these folks from World War II did so much and their time gets shorter and shorter. I think we all recognize that, but what do we do? I’d hate for people not to come to honor them and hear their stories. I’d hate for them not come and miss such a great opportunity.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at email@example.com. Attachments area