Hometown Patriot - Aug. 14, 2013 - Milton Vanicor

Hometown Patriot - August 14, 2013 - Milton Vanicor

Milton Vanicor's oldest daughter has vivid memories of her dad going off to war. Jeanette Aguillard was only five when her dad went off to boot camp. She remembers him leaving the train station.

"I remembered when he boarded the train here in Welsh," said Jeanette Aguillard. "I lost sight of him. We could see the train leaving in the distance. Then he stuck his head out and I still have that vivid picture in my head of him waving in that white sailor's uniform. It was real hard."

It was February 1945 when Vanicor and the crew of the U.S.S. Newberry arrived at Iwo Jima. A few days later he witnessed fatally wounded Marines being loaded on board his ship.

"They'd start bringing those wounded boys on board and they'd die when they were on our ship," said Vanicor. "It was terrible. They'd die on our ship and they'd have funerals."

Vanicor says it's just as you see it in the movies. The fallen were given a full Naval burial.

"They had a sheet of four by eight plywood with a flag stapled on one side and then they put the bodies on that plywood and cover it with the flag. They would bury them at sea."

Now a retired carpenter, Vanicor is a nationally-known Cajun musician. His new CD "Un Souvenir – de Milton Vanicor" is now out. For more information, e-mail Chris Miller: chris@bayouroots.com

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