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EVANSVILLE, INDIANA
NOVEMBER 10, 2005

Received a copy of this letter from Jack Hammond today. It was sent to President Jack Shimizu and copy to Jack Hammond and Treasurer Bill Brashears.

We wish to thank "Ben Black" for his donation to the Tortuga Association in honor of our son, Chuck Jr that died of a sudden heart attack on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, at the age of 43...

This was one of the most "thoughtful gestures" that anyone could have done to honor our son. Words cannot begin to express our appreciation to "BEN BLACK" for his generosity & kindness

THANK YOU BEN & GOD BLESS.

Sincerely,

Chuck & Helen Westbrook.

ALSO PLEASE SEE A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR BELOW, THIS ONE THAT WAS POSTED ON THIS PAGE SOMETIME AGO.

LETTER FROM BEN BLACK


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

This clipping was sent to Jack Hammond by Ben Black.
Ben Black is the Managing Editor of the Clarksville Times.
---CW---

THIS IS THE ORIGNAL.

Typed text below, courtesy Jack Hammond.

THE CLARKSVILLE TIMES
THE OLDEST BUSINESS INSTITUTION IN RED RIVER COUNTY
Ben E. Black - Managing Editor
P. O. Box 1018, Clarksville, Texas 75426 - 903-427-5616

Letter From The Editor…
Heroes

Last October I was in a room filled with heroes. And if I said that to any of them, they’d look surprised and ask, “Who? Where” But they were heroes non-the less. The same as Audie Murphy or Sergeant York or any other highly decorated veteran. They were the men who served aboard the USS Tortuga, LSD 26 (An Amphibious Dock Landing Ship). At their recent reunion in New Orleans, they truly represented “America’s finest”. There were Radiomen, Boson’s Mates, Ship Fitters, Gunner’s Mates, etc., only now they are retired truck drivers, carpenters, technicians of all kinds, homeowners, salesmen – people just like you and me. But, make no mistake, they were – are – heroes: fighting shipmates who served aboard the same ship between 1940 and 1970. From World War II, the Korean “Conflict”, Vietnam… and all the times in between. They might not hear as well, not have as much hair, gained a few pounds and are a little slower getting around. But they remembered their times together, and their common bond: USS Tortuga, LSD 26. They still had fun together, although maybe not as loud and boisterous. But enjoyed each other’s company. During the “swamp tour” of neighboring bayous near the Crescent city, our Cajun tour guide confirmed what I’ve known all along when he recognized the two remaining WWII veterans “You guys are my real heroes. Thanks for what you did, so that I can do what I do. “Even with his southern Louisiana accent, he expressed the sentiments of us all. And there are heroes just like that all around us here in Red River County. In our midst we have those “grunts” who knew the Germans, Japanese and Italians: those who were near the DMZ “Demilitarized Zone”, those who experienced the “killing fields” of Southeastern Asia: if we think Texas summers are hot, the deserts of the Middle East are just a little cooler than hell itself. And now in Iraq. If you see any of them this coming week during Veterans Day, November 11: take time to say, “thanks”.

RETURN TO CHUCK'S HOME PORT

RETURN TO TORTUGA ASSOC. INFORMATION SITE