I hate memorial Day. Specifically, I hate the jingoism, the militaristic bullshit and the monumental levels of hype one hears pretty much on every television, radio, and in every newspaper and magazine, and on God knows how many internet sites, for these 24 hours. Statism is bad when it’s tolerable, it’s disgusting when it’s prostituted for mere political gain.
That said, I was born here, and at least 2 branches of my immediate family risked literally everything to come here in the early part of the 20th century, and for all it’s warts, it’s home. It’s a home that numerous individuals lived and died to defend and protect, and for their service, I am grateful.
My only real experience with the U. S. armed forces has been financial: I sold a couple of hard drives to the Navy and the Marines way back when I was in the computer parts business. The navy ship in question, whose quartermaster ordered the equipment was the U.S.S. Enterprise, which, being the science fiction nerd I am and will always be, pretty much made my whole year. But asthmatics with crappy vision are generally exempt from military service, so a civilian I remain, despite high scores of marksmanship at the local rifle range.
Members of my family, however, have served, for a wide variety of reasons, and I’m going to honor them and their memories by putting their names and service information here. You’ll notice that there’s more information on some than others, but in every case I listed as much as I could find.
Many thanks to my grand-uncle, Fred Frater, for maintaining these family records. (Fred’s half-brother, Hal Frater, was my grandfather; Hal passed away this past February 3, only 30 days sort of his 99th brthday. Hal’s wartime service was spent working for the War Dept. illustrating equipment manuals for the Army and Navy.)
KNOWN VETERANS OF THE FRATER FAMILY
Captain Garret Winegar, 12TH Mass. Regiment, Revolutionary War; enlisted, Continental Army, America, N.U. (see Revolutionary Rolls, Mass. Archives, Chapter 45, page 406)
John N. Francisco, Civil War, Union Forces, 1st Lt. Co. K, 22nd Infantry, Iowa Volunteers. Wounded, Port Gibson, Miss. (Battle of Vicksburg), (Grandparent of Jannibell O. S. Frater)
Edward W. Knapp, Civil War, Pvt., Co. E, 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry Volunteers, (Grandparent of Janibell)
Walter A. “Skip” Smith, WWII, Seabee Pacific
Janibell O. Smith Frater, Army Nurse, WWII, served 1943-46 (wife of Fred)
Fred Stanley Frater, 82nd Airbone, WWII (Husband of Janibell)
Albert R. “Al” Frater, USMC, Vietnam, 1965-66
Arthur Frater, Major, U.S. Army, 9 years service
Jules Frater, served in Europe
Ronald Wherely, U.S.M.C
Tom Wilbean, U.S. Navy
Stan Smith, Served in Vietnam
Dick Memmary, U.S. Navy
Julian Frankel, U.S. Army, served in Korea
Happy Memorial Day!