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Service & Sacrifice: Farm Boy to Glider Fighter

Clinton Riddle was a farm boy from Sweetwater, Tennessee who entered the fight in WWII from a glider.

1. What one person influenced you most in life?
A boy from Chicago. Stephan J. Kralj. Fox hole buddy. He would dig a fox hole big enough for him and I could squeeze in. We were buddies for a year until he got hit with a piece of artillery that sent him back to England and finally home. We remained friends after the war. 2. Do you feel honored and respected for serving your country?
Yes. I do. If I had it to do over I would have continued on. But I was away from home and wanted to come home. 3. How can people thank you for your service?
Just a thank you. I appreciate anyone taking time to do that. Nobody welcomed me home when I got home so it is good to see that for the current troops. 4. How do you honor your fellow service men and women?
I try to give thanks to those that I know when I meet them. I used to go to go to Ft. Bragg every year for "All-American Week." 5. How do you think this generation of service men and women is different or similar to yours?
When we invaded we swept across a place and we were through. Now it is an all together different set of challenges. 6. What influence did your military service have on the rest of your life?
Being prompt about keeping appointments. Orderly in my every day life. 7. Does your family have a history of military service?
Yes. My great grandfather was in the Civil War. I also had a great uncle. Both were on the Sultana. It was an overloaded ship that went down on the Mississippi after the war killing more than 1700. 8. Would you encourage younger generations in your family to join the service?
Yes I would. 9. How has your opinion of war changed?
World War II was very necessary. Other wars I question given the cost to our young people. 10. How did your military experience shape your faith? 
It drew me closer to the knowledge of my creator. I've been delivered. I preached for 30 years after I returned the war. WHEN THE GLIDERMEN ARE GONEWhen the Glidermen are gone,
To enter their gliders no more,
The last flight has been made
To that beautiful shore.When the last battle has ended,
And the evenings shadows grow long,
Who will tell others the story,
When the Glidermen in tow are gone?Who will tell about their experiences
From Normandy to the war's end,
When their work on earth is finished,
And our freedom they can't defend?You must cherish your liberty
And pass our history along.
You must tell others the story,
When the Glidermen are gone.Our nation must be protected
Against terrorism and be strong.
We must trust you with the story,
When all the Glidermen are gone.-Clinton E. Riddle  />

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