We Salute Veterans

FOR THEIR COMMITMENT, DEDICATION AND SACRIFICE

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AMERICAN HEROES PORTRAITS OF SERVICE

PHOTOGRAPHS OF BELMONT VILLAGE RESIDENT VETERANS BY THOMAS SANDERS

The power of portrait photography is immense and magical. A photographic portrait freezes an individual’s image in time and when it’s done right, it can transcend time altogether to reveal multiple, deeper dimensions of person and place.

Belmont Village American HerosSuch are the photographs of Thomas Sanders who, in the fall of 2008, was first commissioned by Belmont Village to capture the portraits and stories of the servicemen and women who call Belmont Village home, predominantly from World War II, for permanent exhibitions at our communities. We have continued our Portraits of Service project for more than a decade—the project now consists of nearly 1,000 portraits and stories and is arguably the largest collection of its kind.

The ranks of living World War II veterans are in an inevitable decline. It is not unreasonable to think about these photographs as part of a larger narrative, a photographic chronicle of a generation that began in wartime with compelling images by the battlefield and home-front photographers of the day—Edward Steichen, Robert Capa, Joe Rosenthal, Dorothea Lange, Alfred Eisenstaedt—and finds its terminus with a photographer such as Sanders, who is equally compelled to capture this story, now in its final chapter.

At Belmont Village, we continue our recognition of all American heroes, past and present, through exhibits in our communities. We are grateful for the sacrifices of veterans and their families and are privileged to honor their bravery and selfless contributions in service to our country. Explore the portraits and stories of these American heroes below.

JEFFREY M. DEBEVEC
Senior Vice President of Communications
at Belmont Village and Project Curator

Belmont Village The last good war Book

“A brilliant collaboration of historic stories told from a variety of American soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who fought long and hard for the safety of their country.”
— The Photo Review

Belmont Village Book of the Year award winner and history book club

Howard Fox

It was an exciting time that I will never forget. I was assigned to the USS Kennebago…

James N. Augustine

I served stateside. I was a finance officer…

Eslie Sanders Cashie

I started as an airman and immediately applied for direct commission as an officer after basic training…

Bill Clark

I signed up after seeing the Flying Cadets at Randolph Field. The war started three months later…

Lillian Offen

I served as a nurse during World War II and the Korean War on a navy medical ship…

R. C. Levis

As part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, two war experiences brought me to Europe…

David Smith

I enlisted at seventeen years old so that I could become a pilot…

Martin Schwartz

It is difficult to think about the war and being away from my wife and daughter…

Robert Meiborg

It was long periods of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror…

Lee J. Broussard

I went into the Navy at eighteen because I thought that it would be a good thing…

Thomas Welsh, III

USMC. Semper fidelis (always faithful). Always forward. Leave no one behind…

Paul Stewart Baldwin

I was assigned federal and state civil service administrative and personnel positions..I held positions in the United States Army as Chief of Selective Service, Director of…

Harold Palmer

I was glad when the war was over. We were in New Guinea and the Philippines…

Robert “Bob” Yanchus

During my senior year in high school I joined the Army Specialist Training Program (ASTP)….

Perry Wolff

For a long time, I tried to remember every place that I slept, from Omaha Beach to Elbe…

Bill Auger

At 17-years WWII was just an adventure, and at age 21 it was still an adventure…

Bob Taylor

I’m glad I got out alive.

Ronnie Shakir, Jr.

I went into the army one month after my high school graduation….

Phil Pennington

World War II? I missed it. As a five-year old, I recall my dad racing downtown on December 8, 1941…

Lawrence Nosco

I remember a close call when I was in a convoy of ships with enemy torpedoes..

Richard Miller

I would like to remember my comrades who are not here anymore. I was in the islands…

Manuel “Mac” Martinez

I was a 776 radio operator with field artillery and transportation corps – American and European theaters…

Lawrence Lindlow

1st Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force
Resident, Belmont Village Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Dorothy Shuford Laughter

I felt deeply about the war and felt I needed to do something. I enlisted when my boyfriend enlisted…

Barbara Kirk

I always thought of my mother Barbara as daring. She and her younger sister Marge joined the Navy together, before WWII…

John Jackson

I was assigned to the 780th Military Police Battalion, which was all black, except for the officers…

Marion Bill Hall

World War II was our duty. We didn’t start it, but we helped finish it for the world…

Amy and Edward Fike

They took good care of the women in the service. We always had good places to stay, good food and chaperonage….

Mildred Weed Evans

It changed my life because I learned how to be a legal secretary. I was also proud to have been a Gunnery Specialist…

James Eckman

I was proud to be part of it and proud to give my share like others. During World War II, I was a ball turret gunner…

Robert Crandall

I enlisted in officers’ training school in San Antonio, Texas and finished a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration…

Ernie Cortez

when Bataan surrendered, my unit and others were marched in a column along the simmering dusty road…

Dominic Calabrese

The good Lord was watching over me. We were in the second wave in France…

Theodore Burfict

I started my journey in the ROTC at Western Kentucky University. I felt like the military was in my blood…

Alice and Richard Berridge

I was proud to be a WAVE because it was our duty to relieve the men of their stateside duties so that they could…

John Aimonetti

I spent five years in the Army and I was a darn good soldier….

Angel Adiago

The greatest thing was that the soldiers and sailors were the best audiences in the world….