Meetings: 2nd Wed of the Month, 7:00 PM, 3329 Battlefield Blvd, South
We were honored to have William Donald Casady, better known as "Mickey" as an active member of VFW Post 2894 until his passing at the age of 102 years "young". Upon graduating from high school, Mickey enlisted in the US Navy in 1937, but it was not easy. This young, little man was 3/4 inch too short and secured a waiver from Homer Truett Bone, U.S. Senator from state of Washington since he did not meet the minimum height requirement of 5 Foot-4 inches. Mickey went on to serve 22 years and retired as an Electrician Chief in 1959.
Mickey's service continued through WW II, as a plank owner of the Battleship Iowa (BB-61). In 2012 the Iowa was decommissioned from the active Navy and transitioned to a educational display in Bremerton, Washington. The ceremony included a reunion of Iowas crew members. Mickey was the oldest crew member at age 94 and was honored to cut the ceremonial cake.
One day by coincidence, he met Babe Ruth on front porch of a lodge where he had been swimming while on leave. They became friends and the Babe returned to New York with him where Mickey was the ship Chief Electrician during the building of the USS Iowa in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. See picture in the Slideshow above.
Mickey served on various naval ships to include aircraft Carriers USS Ranger and Valley Forge during the Korean War.
Read more about Mickey's amazing life using the link below.
Eddie Vincek was born in 1925 and grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York. In May of 1943 he joined the US Marine Corps; “I was going to be drafted into the war. I didn’t want to join the Navy, so, I joined the Marine Corps.” He first was stationed at Norfolk Naval Air Station where he met his future wife, Mary. He was then transferred to the Pacific after infantry training at Camp Lejeune and boarded LST 634 (Landing Ship Tank) bound for Japan.
For 42 days he and his brother Marines voyaged across the ocean unsure of whether they would survive. Every day Japanese submarines circled the convoy harassing and threatening them. While the Japanese never fired on the ships, the constant threat of attack kept them on edge.
On February 19, 1945, Eddie landed on the island of Iwo Jima – one hour after the initial landing. “Working on a dairy farm,” he explained, “I was used to seeing animal blood, but not human blood covering over the ground.” More than 6,000 Marines died during that invasion. “I was one of the few that walked off carrying my own gear. So many others had been killed or wounded and weren’t able to carry their own gear off the island.”
After his honorable discharge as a Corporal in 1946, he returned to Virginia, married Mary, and bought a farm in Chesapeake. They celebrated their 75th Wedding Anniversary October 26, 2021. He is an active member of the Grassfield Ruritan Club since 1956 and is the only charter member still alive. Since 1988, the Vinceks have been actively involved with the Meals on Wheels ministry. The Vinceks are also very actively involved in their church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church. After serving in the military for several years,
Eddie believes that every young man should serve time in the military; “The military changed my life. It gave me a different perspective on life, but I hope that we never live through another war like that one.”
VFW Commander Jose Vasquez wishes Corporal Eddie Happy Birthday at his 96th.