Freedom Fighters: Ed Croan

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Ed Croan was a Sophomore in high school when he joined the Navy in 1945.

The man who owned the movie theater where Croan worked was head of the local draft board and has assured Croan that he could get a deferment, but Croan was never one to shirk his duties.

Croan's five brothers were later to join the Navy as Croan had.

"I was raised at a time when we said the Pledge of Allegiance at school, God was still in the schools and it was instilled in us it was our patriotic duty to serve our country."

Croan went to San Diego for basic training and because of his experience as a movie operator, was trained as a sound and motion picture technician.

"I was sent to a naval base in Long Island, New York."

Croan ran the two theaters on the naval base showing both entertainment and training films.

"The thing I guess I'm more proud of, they printed all the film of Los Alamos for the bombing of Tokyo and all of the bombing of Japan."

Croan was in the Navy 15 months and discharged in time to join his original high school class for graduation.

Born in a log cabin on an Oklahoma farm, Croan's early years had been hampered by ill health. At the age of 90, Croan now looks back on a series of health problems that could have taken his life.

"At 18 months I was bitten by a mad dog, they thought it was. Can you imagine giving an 18-month-old those shots in the stomach one a day, 24 days."

Croan also recovered from chlorine inhalation, a film fire in a movie theater, and more recently a stay in the hospital's ICU. He says he is very blessed to have overcome his health problems.

"God's not through with me yet. I don't know why."

"Even my VA doctor tells me there are very few people that he sees that's my age that can do what I do."

Ed Croan is proud to have served his country in the Navy and also proud of the brothers he inspired to do the same.

"I did it because it was my patriotic duty."

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