As you can see from the front cover of our November issue, Trenchless Technology, is paying tribute to military veterans from the United States and Canada, most notably who are working in the trenchless industry.
You can read about a few of the industry’s military vets in the November issue (or click the link above), including me; however, my military career was nowhere near as special as my father, Ben Krzys.
Let me tell you about him.
Benjamin Krzys was an enlisted man in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He was a rough-and-tumble kind of guy from Youngstown, Ohio. When World War II began, he was married and already had one son, with another son to come along in 2 years. From what I know, that family situation exempted him from military service—but not sure. Ignoring all that, my father enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 1943 when he now had two sons and was 30 years old. Patriotism, unquestionably, had a lot to do with this decision. My mother was so upset that she refused to see him off at the train; instead, my first cousin did so.
Private Ben Krzys, later corporal, went on to serve until April 1946. His principle Military Operational Specialty was amphibious tractor operator. You may know they were called LVTs (Landing Vehicle Tracked) were widely used in that war to ferry soldiers from the ships involved in an invasion of an enemy position.
My father’s entire combat career was in the Pacific. He was in the first wave in the invasion of Peleliu, which had a casualty rate that exceeded all other amphibious operations at that time. He went on to be in the second wave at Okinawa. Next and unbelievably, he also fought at Guadalcanal. Miraculously, he got through all of this unscathed. Like so many combat veterans, he never wanted to talk about any of this.
At the war’s conclusion, my dad stayed on until April 1946, participating in the occupation of China. Not sure, how much my mother saw him over this time. I do know that she spent some time with him at Camp Pendleton, California. Otherwise, she stayed home and had to get a job, while raising two sons on her own.
Afterward, my dad was very active in AMVETS, American Legion, and the Polish Legion of American Veterans. To this day, and forever, my father is my hero.
I will never forget the day I graduated from college. But not for the obvious reason of celebrating getting a degree. I was an ROTC graduate and we wore our uniforms under our graduation gown. At the ceremony, we took off our gowns and were officially commissioned as officers. On the way home, my dad wanted to stop at a tavern for a beer. So, there I was in uniform with my dad telling everyone that I was an officer in the U.S. Army. I truly felt that in many respects that he was prouder of the fact that I was now an officer in the Army vs. having earned a degree.
I am very concerned about patriotism in the United States. The military is now all volunteer and the people who serve are far less. Military vets are not as respected as before and the skills they develop on active duty are not well regarded. That even happened with me. I strongly believe that patriotism throughout America needs a lot of reinforcement. Our flag and national anthem represent all who have served, protecting our liberties.
So thank you to all military veterans — and especially thank you, Benjamin P. Krzys. And if you didn’t know it, our company name Benjamin Media Inc. is named after my father.
God Bless the USA,
1st Lt. Bernard P. Krzys,
U.S. Army (retired)