Veterans Table - A father and son's story of service
Donny Anderson: "When they took that picture right there... that's when you were in basic? Yup. And that's where I got mine."
Robert: Roland and Donny Anderson, father and son originally from Woodland, share a special bond -- taking a look back and remembering their time in the service. For Roland, he was drafted February of 1943 and served as an Army engineer during WWII. His tour of duty included a number of front line countries abroad.
Roland Anderson: "France ... Yeah..."
Donny Anderson: "Germany. England. You were in England weren't you?"
Roland Anderson: "Well, I was excited to go."
Donny Anderson: "How long were you in the service, Dad? How many years?
Roland Anderson: "About three."
Robert: Reaching the rank of Corporal, Technician Fifth Grade, Roland was honorably discharged in 1945 and was awarded a Bronze Star for his service. Coming home from War, he returned to Woodland and enjoying life and work in Aroostook County.
Donny Anderson: "Was it good to come home?"
Roland Anderson: "Yeah, oh yeah!"
Donny Anderson: "He came home, went back on the family farm and then he worked as a Road Commissioner for the town of Woodland for 21 years. Then he went to work at Loring Air Force Base Mechanic. He retired in 1988. Then he did a heck of a lot of snowmobiling... fishing, didn't you?"
Roland Anderson: "What's that?"
Donny Anderson: "Did a lot of snowmobiling, and a lot of fishing?"
Roland Anderson: "Yeah!"
Robert: For Donny, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for 4 years during the Vietnam Era. He specially worked on the original AV-8A vertical take-off jets. Donny's active duty included 7 months abroad in Okinawa, Japan and overseas in the Mediterranean.
Donny Anderson: "I went on the U.S.S. Guam and being from Woodland -- small town outside of Caribou -- there was a classmate that was a year behind me from Woodland on the same boat. He was in the Navy, but I can't help that. And we share memories and not too often you see two fellas from Woodland on the same. It meant a lot, meant a lot to do it. I'm very honored to have been a Marine."
Robert: Service and honor follow a long line in the Anderson family. Donny, along with his two sons who both served in the Air Force, followed directly in Roland's footsteps in deciding to join the military. Roland and Donny take pride in their family's service.
Donny Anderson: "I have a wall in my house, it's our honor wall. And got those two hanging up, and him up top and me on the bottom. And my two boys, one on each side. And that's quite a -- it's very remarkable. He belongs to VFW, we both belong to Legion. We're both Shriners. We're both Masons. -- Worth every penny, every moment. Everything we do. It's well worth it, ain't it Pop?"
Roland Anderson: "Oh yeah."
Donny Anderson: "Darn right!"
Robert Grimm, News Source 8
--Roland Anderson | WWII Army Veteran;
--Donny Anderson | Vietnam Era Marine Corps Veteran]
Aired: March 18, 2020