Posted by: SJS | November 12, 2012

A salute to our vets; farewell to Tom Saffles

tending military graves in Hawaii

A young women tends military graves in Hawaii, 1943

Veteran’s Day this year carries an added note of sadness as we mark the passing of PT vet Tom Saffles in Springville, Alabama. On Wednesday evening, November 7th, I received a call from Tom’s son, Tommy, informing me that Tom had died earlier that day at home in the presence of his family. Over the past two years, through regular contact with Tom, I came to know more about my father’s days in World War II. In the stories and recollections Tom shared with me, my understanding of my father was enlarged and deepened.
As we celebrate this special day to honor the men and women who have worn the uniform of our nation, I feel a special debt of gratitude to Tom Saffles. From the time he made that first phone call in response to my small ad in the PT Vets newsletter, “All Hands,” until a few weeks ago when we spoke on the phone about the progress of the University of Alabama’s football team, every conversation with him was a source of joy, laughter, and great support. Tom loved God, his family, his country, and his friends. Through his bond with my father when they were young men on the PT boats, I was privileged to enter the circle of those Tom cared for.
To his wife, Irene, and his children, Kitty and Tommy, we extend our condolences, our affection, and our promise of continued prayers. Tom had a unique way of bringing people together and how blessed we’ve been by his life.
Our eternal gratitude goes out this day to Tom and to all the brave men and women, past and present, who serve our country and defend all that we hold dear. May Tom and all those who have passed rest in peace and the eternal light of God’s presence.

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