Freedom Fighters: Dick Atkins - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/22/07-Holly Lake

Freedom Fighters: Dick Atkins

Dick Atkins tried to join the Navy when he was sixteen, but was turned down. On his seventeenth birthday, he finally became a sailor and by the time he was eighteen, he was in a foxhole in Okinowa. It was a way for a teenager to grow up fast.

Although Atkins' memories of both World War Two and Korea are still vivid, it was over half a century before he began to write about them. A grandaughter had asked him to write a page for her classroom "show and tell". That first page developed into the book "American Sailor".

Dick Atkins retired from the Navy in 1987 after 43 years of service. He's convinced that had we lost World War Two, we would have lost everything dear including our freedom. He says he has thanked the Lord many times that he was a part of it and that he came home.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting

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