The Rest of the Story


WWII Service People From Mesick, Michigan

At the suggestion of the Gaylord sisters, Susie Moorhead and Mary Joe Kendall, it has been my pleasure to write a record of those who served their country in WWII from the Mesick area. They have their names recorded, at least as many as we could find: whether they lived their entire life here, resided here growing up during the time of the war, or if they settled in the Mesick area after the war, These brave men labored at a variety of duties throughout the duration of WWII such as Military Railroad Services, Armored Services, Navy Waves, Naval Construction Battalion, Dental Corp, Army Calvary Recognizance, Army Automotive Services, and Infantry to mention a few.

It has been a delight getting reacquainted with each and every one of them as their information was recorded, especially from my old “neighborhood”. “The Gold Star Boys” as they were called, gave their all; a number were missing in action for long periods of time, and many returned home only to suffer the cruelties of war for the rest of their lives. It may surprise you to find in January of 2018 there were at least seven WWII soldiers still living in the area: (1) Glen Cochrane (2) Russell Clements (3) Paul Johnson (4) Larry Slater (5) Albert (Swede) Sparks (6) Walter Sparks (7) Horace G. Stores, maybe others? Today in 2022 there are only two survivors.

Many thanks to all those who helped me find the missing pieces to put together “The Rest of the Story.”  It started with a gift to the Mesick Historical Museum from Michael O’Rourke when he supplied some of his mother’s memorabilia from a community effort called “Hometown Letters” that took place during WWII. Thank you Michael!  And, thanks to Iraq veteran, Mike O’Neil, who waded through many pages for accuracy. Thanks to all those who shared their pictures, obituaries, and information.  And last, but not least, thanks to Peggy Johnson for the many hours she spent helping me take photographs of the soldier’s tombstones. Also, thanks go to her husband, Larry, for sharing Peg’s time with me. Furthermore, Larry’s story of his father as a WWII Marine and his later life inspired the title of the book. And so, all together, we now have a written record of our “Hometown Boys” we hope you will all enjoy.

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