Concord World War II Veteran Reflects on Sacrifices Made for Fre -

Concord World War II Veteran Reflects on Sacrifices Made for Freedom

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As we celebrate this Fourth of July, a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient who lives in Concord, reflects on the sacrifices made to give us our freedoms.

89-year old Thomas Farebrother was in his last semester of high school in 1943. He knew he’d get drafted during World War II, so he said rather than take his chances getting drafted in the Army, he signed up to join the Navy.

Farebrother said, “I didn’t think I wanted to be in a fox hole, and I thought I’d be safer aboard ship.” But that didn’t necessarily prove to be true. As Farebrother landed in the Marshall Islands, a Japanese sniper was at the water’s edge, firing at United States Marines. Farebrother said he was hit by a bullet from behind. He added, “It (the bullet) went through the two canteens across the end of my spine or close to the end of it, another inch or more, and I probably would’ve been crippled for the rest of my life.”

Farebrother only spent a month in a naval hospital before he was sent back out to fight. He said, “I was fit for duty, and they put me aboard ship after that because the war was still going on.”

Some 70 years later, Farebrother thinks about not only his close call but that of other military members and those who died in so many wars since then. He said, “I guess you don’t think about it until after the war, and you see how people in different countries are treated and suppressed and thank God for our armed forces. If we didn’t win the war, we may be speaking German today or Japanese.”

Farebrother says he’s a survivor, but there’s one word he won’t use when talking about his service. He said, “I don’t like to be called a hero. The heroes are the ones that didn’t come home.” He added, “They gave their life for me and everybody else to live in freedom.”


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