Pearl Harbor Vet Helps Super 1 Support our Troops - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/12/03 - Tyler

Pearl Harbor Vet Helps Super 1 Support our Troops

For our overseas troops, little paper bags filled with toiletries can bring them comforts of home. Veterans like Joe Fritcher know what a few kind thoughts can mean.

"People supported us in 1941, 42, 43, 44, and 1945," Joe says. "It meant a lot to know the people at home are supporting you."

Joe knows. A Navy veteran, Joe was on the deck of the U.S. California when it was sunk at Pearl Harbor.

"We got mail, and I got my home town paper, and my obituary was in there," he says. "I'd been reported killed at Pearl Harbor."

After Pearl Harbor, Joe served six more years, including the battles of Midway, the Coral Seas, and the Battle of Savo Island, where he once again went down with his ship.

"I was in the water ten hours with the sharks before they picked me up," Joe says. "I finished that out and went back and put an aircraft carrier in commission and finished the war. The Good Lord's been really good to me."

This weekend, Joe was giving his time for the next generation, trying to remind people of their soldiers and the faces of freedom.

"You don't realize how grateful you are to be in this country until you look at somebody like Mr. Fritcher," Karen Underwood of Super 1 Foods says. "Knowing that our troops are there and fighting for our country and freedom, you really do appreciate it."

The packages and donations will be given to the Red Cross for the troops, because as Joe will tell you, every little bit helps when you're far from home.

Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.

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