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Need to Nomad Blog

“Thankful Generations” WWII Project - Part 5

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Meet US Navy Corpsman Joseph Vierra Cardoza, the subject of my latest WWII tapestry. His son, Rod shares his story: "I believe the image you have there is of him during his service as a U.S. Navy Corpsman stationed in Borneo in 1943.  He told me he was part of a "Cub Unit" in support of the wounded as a result of battles during the "Island Hopping Campaign". It was not a safe job for him.  On several occasions he was subject to front line fighting and ended up being the recipient of the Purple Heart medal."

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The Purple Heart. The most recognized symbol of military bravery and sacrifice, it is conferred upon military members wounded or killed in action. How many of us can even appreciate what it takes to qualify for such an heroic distinction?

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Rod continues, "Upon the bombing of Pearl Harbor in late 1941, my father immediately enlisted in the Navy, much to the chagrin of his mother, whom he said literally fell on the floor crying and pounding her fists when she learned of his decision.  Because of his apparent aptitude for caring, he was assigned duty in the Naval Medical Crops as a Pharmacist's Mate.  After training in Seattle and here in San Diego's newly formed Camp Kidd, he was sent to the South Pacific in mid-1942.  Most of his duty time was spent in Northern Australia and in Borneo.  He did see combat at Peleliu and Okinawa.  Peleliu ended up being the most costly battle of the War for the Americans in terms of casualties.  And my father, as a corpsman, said it was the most horrific experience of his life.

My project continues to highlight the freedoms we enjoy as the “thankful generations who followed  this greatest generation in the world after WWII. At this point, I am 45% complete with the bead weaving  that equates to over 8,200 beads thus far.  Stay tuned as more of the tapestry is revealed and more of Joseph story unfolds. 

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Thankful Generations Tapestry #3, Joseph Cardoza, 1943

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