by C. Anthony
Stories of Veteran related features in Arizona.
|A place to keep alive the stories, struggles and successes of our military veteran's past and present whom give all and ask for little in return.|
|It was while watching the Ken Burns documentary, The War, that I was introduced to Sascha Jean Weinzheimer. Sascha Jean was born and raised in the Philippines where she lived with her family on her grandfather’s sugar plantation. There, she lived a charmed life of cotillions and proper education, handmaids and nanny’s with the back drop of the Philippine landscape to explore.
In 1941, WW II had escalated with the Japanese attacks at Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. It was not long before the Philippines fell and chaos replaced Sascha’s peaceful existence. She was 9 years-old.
As a result, the Japanese gathered up and interned the civilian population where they would ultimately remain until the end of the war. During her captivity, Sascha journalized her experience at Santo Tomas internment camp and it was through these tales that touched my heart.
She wrote with such detail and eloquence and yet never lost her innocence of childhood. I decided to research this part of history and stumbled across a memorial Web site dedicated to the survivors of Santo Tomas. http://cnac.org/emilscott/santotomas01.htm.
As a courtesy, I signed the sites guest book and was honored with an email from Sascha days later. The rest, as they say is history and we have been sharing a wonderful friendship ever since.
I have always been fascinated with this period of American history and the people who experienced the events of WW II. As a military veteran myself, I have an even greater appreciation for their sacrifices and endeavors and am honored to be included in their lives.
What started as a curious search on the internet has lead to a unique and rewarding friendship with one of America’s greatest generation members. We share weekly phone calls and exchange emails where she regales me with fabulous accounts of her life and daily encounters.
Sascha is a wonderful woman and I am honored to call here friend.
|It’s good to be an American. Despite all the negative press we American’s receive across the globe on a daily basis we do unite when called upon. Just ask Army SSgt. Mike Stansbarger, who after surviving two tours of duty in Afghanistan came home to battle, an enemy all too familiar to all of us; cancer.
The 27 year-old Army Military Police Officer was diagnosed with Melanoma which was surgically removed from under his arm and shoulder. After enduring rigorous radiation sessions as well as Immunotherapy it was discovered he had a brain tumor which had hemorrhaged. Stansbarger again was operated on to remove the life-threatening tumor and is regaining his strength each day. This of course has left him disabled and struggling to support his wife and young child.
This is where the “united” comes in and with the help of KNIX morning show hosts Ben and Matt, The Phoenix Sun cheerleaders and scores of supporters, over $5000 dollars was raised at a car wash on his behalf. The parking lot of the Auto Zone at 7501 McDowell Rd in Scottsdale was packed with friends, family, and motorist on their way to work; all stopping to have their cars washed, take part in live music, and provide some good old fashioned troop support while helping one of our “boys.” It’s good to be an American.
If you were not able to attend the car wash and would like to contribute you may do so at any Well’s Fargo Bank under the Stansbarger name.