Remembering My Father Today: A Pearl Harbor Survivor
William Gordon Ely was born in Gallipolis, Ohio where he worked on the family farm when he was just 8 years old…even driving a tractor! One day he was on a bicycle riding on his country road when a couple of men waived him down in their Model T! The men introduced themselves as Mr. Ford and Mr. Firestone! They were lost and asked for directions to Columbus! William (Bill) didn’t know who the men were until later. He was born with a photographic memory as well and thought that they were dressed pretty nice!
Dad’s brush with history didn’t stop there…He later fared the DEPRESSION with his family, though he lost his big brother John to a drowning accident, he joined the service at 17…lying about his age!
He was finally stationed at Pearl Harbor after touring the South Pacific and wrote to his mom that he found Paradise, He was even bragging about catching a 40-pound octopus and having a barbecue with the guys out on the beach! 
Just before 8 AM on December 7, 1941, my DAD, Bill, was on the porch of the barracks because of an upset stomach from cucumber salad the night before, which saved his life! The airfields were the first attacked and over 200 men were lost there. Bill was a Paramedic so he was racing off in his ambulance truck just trying to get away from the Zeros which were strafing him to the left and right of him. The attack lasted a total of 90 minutes and left 2,400 dead and 1,100 wounded.
My dad tended to as many wounded as he could while he was wounded as well. One critically wounded man my dad administered blood and glucose constantly, who was badly burned. He would change his bandages and he even would sleep with the man to keep him warm so as he wouldn’t go into shock. That man’s mom wrote a letter to my dad thanking him for saving her son’s life after he came home to further his recovery. The Letter was shown to the Red Cross and they started a Blood Drive using the importance of that story.
My DAD went on to be a founder of the “Pearl Harbor Survivors” Columbus Chapter, and co-founder of 8 other chapters. He left in his will a major donation to the MOTT’S Military Museum to help with the expansion of the new wing where his Pearl Harbor Coat/Memorabilia is on display and was constantly petitioning the state to rename Highway 75 to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway!
My DAD, William Gordon Ely, lived his life serving and honoring his country…his fellow man! “Lest We Forget”! Dad… you are part of HISTORY!
New Family Can Rest Easy Tonight
Today’s Case of the Week comes from our Sarasota, FL office written by our regional manager, Bob Graham.
A veteran came in to see us last week. He and his wife are new parents of a precious baby boy. Due to his time in the service, he has PTSD. The VA has supported his housing, but cannot cover his 2-month power bill. This overdue power bill could very well get him evicted from his home because VA rules include eviction if utilities are cut off for non-payment. Thankfully he came to us. We were able to step in, pay the bill, and gave this new family the assurance of a roof over their heads. We are happy to help. 
Sheba Needed a Drink of Water
A post 9/11 veteran suffering from PTSD and seizures came to our office with his therapy dog, Sheba. Sheba is a beautiful Rottweiler, perfectly behaved and watches over her veteran like a mother watches over her newborn child.
The veteran came to us because of a problem with his water, it was shut off. His water bill had been consistent for a long time and was paid regularly. Then in February, the consumption spiked and ran the bill much higher than the veterans budget allowed. He wasn’t able to strike a deal with the water company since he doesn’t own the property. Our Services Director, Bob Julian, was able to contact the water company and speak to the right person. He made a pledge to pay a much lesser amount and they agreed to turn the water on immediately.
Amputee Veteran In Need
Today’s Case of the Week comes from our Hartselle, AL office.
On Tuesday we had an amputee veteran contact us that needed assistance to build a wheelchair ramp at his house. This man was very upbeat about his situation and said that the Birmingham VA was responsible for saving his life and was deeply grateful for their services. The VA saw a problem that could have been fatal to him and was missed by some of the local hospitals. 
While talking to him he stated that he had written Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas about their motorized chairs that they have for their customers, his idea to them was to have a certain amount of chairs cordoned off strictly for the use of veterans in need. 
He did say that he had some positive feedback from them, so I told him that I would use our platform to see if we could help, so if people out there read this please bring this idea up to the local store managers and if you are inclined to send a nice note to corporate. 
Store Manager Turns Hero
Today’s Case of the Week comes from our Hartselle, AL office.
Sadly, last week one of our workers had his money jar and his table stolen at one of our stores we fundraise at. Frantic and bewildered, our rep didn’t know what to do fearing that the thief may be armed. Thankfully, the manager of the store saw the incident happen. He immediately gave chase and did retrieve our property. We are so thankful for his bravery. 
I guess my point is that when something negative happens to us, more often than not there is something positive to counteract the negativity. A lot of times it is difficult to find the positives, but in this case, the store manager showed that he cared by instantly trying and succeeding to get our items back. Thank you sir.