February 14, 2018 My Personal Blog – Crystal Reynolds
Every generation has a story – a story about how their family came to be, stories about the generations before them and how they were formed. This is the story of how my particular branch of the family’s role in the US military began.
My mother’s side of the family is from England and from the United States of America. Her father, Joseph Adams, was born in Maryland in 1922. Joseph joined the Army in 1941 as a medic. He and his brother, Patrick, both enlisted after the attack on Pearl Harbor, just like many men did at the time. My Uncle Patrick Whiteman joined the Navy and was on a destroyer in the Pacific Ocean. My Uncle Pat was off the coast of Japan when they dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He came home with a few medals for valor.
My grandfather went to Africa during WW II and ended up getting injured and being sent to a hospital in England. While in the hospital he met a nurse named Evelyn Hans. Evelyn was born in England in 1919 to Irish/German immigrants. They fell in love and decided that they would get married before he was sent off again. His next place to be sent happened to be Omaha Beach in Normandy. Before he left, Evelyn gave him a pocket Bible to take with him. Not long after landing on the beach, he was shot. The Bible took the brunt of the impact from the bullet. If it was not for that, I would not be here. He stayed in Europe until right after V-E Day in May of 1945. My grandmother was not able to come over until a year later. A few years later, they had my three aunts and my mother. Of course, this is only part of the journey my family was on.
The second half of my family’s journey lies with my father and his family. My dad, Robert J. Hall, came from a long line of men in the military. From what we know, his family goes all the way back to the Civil War, if not before. It skipped the generation of my great grandparents but my great great great cousin Carl Welby Tinsman was in the U.S. Navy reserve. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star when he was killed in action while boarding a hostile vessel during an explosion. He was also later awarded a Purple Heart and had the U.S.S Tinsman christened in his honor by his sister on January 29, 1944.
Then it came time for dad’s two uncles to join the military. They were my great Uncle Richard and my great Uncle Sam. They were both in the U.S. Army during the early parts of the conflict in Vietnam. They were both injured during combat and it ended their careers and left lasting scars, both physically and mentally. My dad joined the U.S. Navy right before his 18th birthday during the later years of the Vietnam conflict. He served on a submarine and was stationed in Rota, Spain. He got out in September of 1980 and three years later he met my mother and they got married.
I grew up listening to stories from my various family members about their experiences in the military. My interest in history was always spurred by my family and their connections in it. My passion for wanting to help people has always been because of the greatness that I feel my family has accomplished due to their service to our country. To me this is why I feel so connected to PRISC and their mission to help female Veterans. I may not have been able to serve our country the way many of my family has done, but I hope that I can do this one thing for those that have served our country.