“I worked on the flight line. I remember those brave men and woman flying in and out, and some would not return.”
— Sgt. Allen Greenberg, US Air Force
From 1970 to 1974, Allen Greenberg served as a Sargent in the United States Air Force. It’s an honor to have a father-in-law with such a humble servants heart, and I am proud to conclude our Veteran Memories series with his interview. Allen divides his time between the rolling hills of Tennessee, his adoring granddaughters in Houston, and visiting the elderly in assisted living and hospice care. He has a special passion for spending time with veterans, many of whom have outlived their friends and enjoy swapping stories no history book may ever record.
As a Vietnam veteran, what does Memorial Day mean to you?
It is a time to honor all those that have lost their lives while serving in addition to those that were wounded and continue to suffer with mental and physical disabilities. Sometimes forgotten are the families and loved ones left behind. They continue to live with the sacrifices made by our brave men and women who were members of this elite group. This includes war time and non war time occurrences.
“I have a very deep allegiance to those who have served. The four years while in the Air Force and serving overseas had a monumental impact on my life and helped set the direction I would take in my future years.”
What are some simple ways we can honor veterans in our community?
Recognizing a veteran and truly thanking them for their service means a lot. Many times veterans can be identified by their military ball caps, bumper stickers on their vehicles, in addition to the subject being brought up in conversation. On Memorial Day many restaurants provide free meals and gatherings in remembrance of those that have sacrificed for our freedom.
Can you tell me about a few of the people you particularly remember this weekend?
I think back about my time overseas in support of the the Vietnam War; those that lost their lives flying missions with our fighter jets and tanker aircraft. I worked on the flight line. I remember those brave men and woman flying in and out, and some would not return. I also think of those still suffering as I visit the VA Hospitals as well as my time spent each month at the Assisted Living facility meeting with the remaining WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War vets.
Some veterans express sadness that many celebrate Memorial Day with parties and drinking. How do you recommend people spend Memorial Day in a manner that’s considerate to veterans and honors the memory of their friends?
Personally, I do not have a problem with the BBQ’s and celebrations as it does bring people together. With my Christian beliefs, we should have a time of prayer recognizing those that have sacrificed so much as well as the friends and family of our fallen and impacted veterans. As I have very strong feelings about our military, I am very pleased that we are once again rebuilding our Armed Forces.
“Have a time of prayer recognizing those that have sacrificed so much as well as the friends and family of our fallen and impacted veterans.”
Read more interviews in our 2017 Veteran Memories Memorial Day Series: