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Thread: Appreciation to 168th Infantry and 34th Infantry

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    Default Appreciation to 168th Infantry and 34th Infantry

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the 168th Infantry and 34th Infantry:

    Please accept this effort to express my appreciation for your efforts and initiative proceeding, during and after the funeral of my father Major Vincent "Pete" Conners.

    "Introibo ad altare Dei Adeum qui laetificat juventutem meam" were the opening statements of the Latin Mass used by my father as a young man serving as an altar boy in St Patrick's church in Imogene. It is translated to mean "I will go to the altar of God, to God, the joy of my youth." He spoke those Latin words throughout his life and which had multiple sentiments that included the importance of returning to the purity of heart of the young, mentally returning to that altar regardless where he was geographically and that finally, he would return to that altar one last time upon his death.

    He had to abandon that later belief during those years he fought alongside his friends in the 168th Infantry knowing that he would not return to altar of the God of his youth but to be buried where he fell in Europe. He accepted that condition but did so believing that those far away gravesites were a second "altar of the God of his youth".

    After WWII and in Korea he was again allowed to resume the expectation of his final return to the St Patrick's altar of the God of his youth but forever attended by those of the 168th Infantry.

    On January 30, 2105 my father entered the altar of the God of his youth for the final time and did so accompanied by the men of the 168th Infantry where they placed the Battalion colors above his casket where he lay dressed in his dress blue uniform wearing his 168th Infantry crossed rifles, crests and 34th Infantry "Red Bull" combat patch. Following the Rosary that evening he lay in rest in the church where his unit and family prepared for his funeral Mass and burial that was to take place the following day on January 31, 2015.

    As snow began to fall on Imogene, my thoughts shifted to those cold and wet days and nights when he fought where so many of his men fell in the mud alongside him to breathe their last and now he would be buried with the wind, rain and snow falling about him and the 168th Infantry one last time with his family there to observe the solemn dignity of the hardened infantry standing tall around him, knowing as they only can know, the worst weather is welcomed when burying their own.

    As the 168th Infantry men and other military of the current and more recent time filed into the church to sit beside him, I turned to see those men, many of them now holding the same position of responsibility that my father had held so long ago. Much was to be said of those men during the funeral Mass.

    As the American flag was again draped upon my father's casket, the 168th Infantry and other military persons gathering for my father's service, assembled behind the Priest and ahead of Major Conners' casket, leading the family from the church and then waited in formation on either side of church entrance saluting him once again before that final salute to be rendered by the 168th Infantry and 34th Infantry at his gravesite at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

    Again with solemn dignity, the Honor Guard carried my father to the grave where the family overcome by grief entrusted everything to them and their presence comforting as Father spoke those final prayers. The notes of the bugle drifted above the wind and snow, the last weapons were fired for him yet so much like those sounds that accompany the death of men in battle that all in attendance recognized as the flag was carefully folded and then presented with the sentiments of a grateful nation and the emotions that overcome all that hold my father's life and that of infantry in the highest esteem.

    Now covered in snow my father's grave is adorned with many things and one is the hand-made 34th Infantry carving made by one of the men of the unit.

    The altar of the God of his youth. Dad is now forever home surrounded by those that claimed him, his family, his Iowa community, his St Patrick's church and his 168th Infantry.

    He is yours forever as you are his. You are together and that is the greatest appreciation that I can state and I know that IS the feeling that was forged with the 168th when he donned that old doughboy style uniform and Springfield rifle in Shenandoah.

    Carry on 168th Infantry, you have been, are now and forever will be needed by all.
    Feb 2, 2015 Jerry Conners

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    RIP Warrior. Godspeed.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
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    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Glenn View Post
    RIP Warrior. Godspeed.
    Top,

    You do not remember that name Jerry Conners being blacklisted as a poser on tons of military forums and boards? Regardless of what he posts, and if it is sadly true (such as a deceased), I will not give credence to his posts. Plus, the year 2105 is a long time from now lol.

    https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=64308.5;wap2

    RANGER Conners and Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team - Professional Soldiers

    jerry conners banned - The Patriot Files Forums

    Ranger Conners on MilitaryTimes Forums
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Well,

    The Major's death is legit and Jerry is his son.

    Vincent Pete P. Conners Online Obituary, December 23, 1920 - January 16, 2015 | Obituary - Shenandoah Iowa Funeral Home | Hackett Livingston

    Vincent "Pete" dePaul Conners, was born to Tom and Ann Conners on Dec 23, 1920 in Imogene, Iowa and the youngest of their seven children. He passed away in Dallas, Texas on January 16, 2015 surrounded by his daughter and her family. He was 94 years old.

    He graduated from St. Patrick's high school where he played baseball and tried out for a St Louis Brown's farm team in Kansas City before the breakout of the war when he was sworn in to the 34th Infantry Division at Shenandoah and began his infantry military career.

    During WWII he would fight in Africa, Sicily and Italy rising rapidly in rank from private to First Sergeant and then receiving his battle field commission of Second Lieutenant and promotion to First Lieutenant during fighting near Brenner Pass in northern Italy. "Pete" and a few of his men were the only men of his company that were not killed or captured when Rommel's forces overran the American positions in North Africa. In addition to his many campaign ribbons where he and his unit spearheaded the invasions in Africa, Sicily and Italy, "Pete" was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor while being wounded severely three times and received three of his eventual four Purple Heart awards and his first Combat Infantry Badge before the war ended in 1945.

    Upon returning home, he married Norma Jean Darst in Omaha where his three children were born prior to the outbreak of the Korean war when "Pete" again returned to active duty and after assignments to Ft Carson, Colorado and Ft Benning, Georgia was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division were he received his second Combat Infantry Badge and fourth Purple Heart and another Bronze Star before being medivaced to Japan.

    After his release from the hospital in 1952 he joined his family and was assigned to the Infantry center at Ft Riley, Kansas where he began his lifelong passion of golfing with his wife and friends. Pete was given the command of the Heavy Weapons Company in the 87th Infantry when the 10th Infantry Division was shipped to Germany in 1955 where the unit and his family were stationed at Aschaffenberg and then command of the Headquarters Company of the NCO Academy in Munich when he was promoted to Major before returning to the United States in 1958 where he completed the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and served briefly at the Reserve Center in St Louis. Pete was selected as a senior military advisor in the Joint US Military Advisor Group (Thailand) and he and his family arrived in Bangkok in 1961 where Pete would achieve VIP status as the advisor to the Thai's First Infantry Division. Pete ended his 23 years of active duty returning with his family aboard an American Presidential Lines ship which sailed to San Francisco via Hong Kong and the major Pacific tropical islands.

    He was immediately hired by the University of Nevada where he established the Emergency Operations Centers for Nevada before being hired by the federal government to assist in creating the emergency centers for California and subsequently the training for those involved in emergency response. In 1978, Pete again retired and returned to Iowa with his wife Jean to assist her aging parents Rex and Tiny Darst in Sidney where Pete became active in Veteran of Foreign War activities and was appointed as the Judge Magistrate for Fremont County in 1979 where he continued to serve until his retirement in 1990. Pete and Jean lived in Reno, Nevada with his oldest son and his family for ten years before joining his daughter Marie in Dallas, Texas where he and Jean remained until her death in 2005.

    He is preceded in death by his wife, father, mother and six brothers and sisters.

    He is survived by his children Jerry, Marie and Tom, seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren where he will remain the lasting inspiration to live life well and long.

    Memorials may be directed to St. Patrick's Catholic Church or Shenandoah American Legion Post 88.

    Burial with military rites will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Imogene, IA
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    I knew I heard the name somewhere, both his name & screen name, Chief. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Thanks for refreshing my memory bank, LOL.

    Ban him & keep the post? I suppose the post can be copied, the user banned & the original post pasted on a new post initiated by one of the mods.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Glenn View Post
    I knew I heard the name somewhere, both his name & screen name, Chief. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Thanks for refreshing my memory bank, LOL.

    Ban him & keep the post? I suppose the post can be copied, the user banned & the original post pasted on a new post initiated by one of the mods.
    Well, let us see if he returns. He has been doing this drive-by posts on every forum, so he may not return to address his posership for the last decade lol. I guess he wanted to live up to Daddy's shoes so badly.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    101st Airborne Division & 4th Infantry Division combat vet
    Serving overseas

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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    I agree. I have to applaud him for posting about a true hero's service & for the love he evidently has for his dad's memory.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

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