By Jonahs Joudrey
Wendell Forsse sat comfortably, arms crossed with a pleasant demeanor, waiting for the arrival of the student media. Neatly arranged, Forsse prepared an itinerary of stories and anecdotes to share about his experience as a WWII veteran.
Forsse served in the Navy. Forsse said, “I cruised the U.S.S Oakland as a storekeeper. My job was hire people on the ship and supply the ship with food and other supplies.”
Forsse enlisted and was working in an office at a school when he got the call to serve his country. He had just finished storekeeping camp through the Navy when he got the call.
Forsse said, “I didn’t mind the thought of being on a ship at all.”
During his time aboard the U.S.S. Oakland, Forsse traveled to China, Guam and Japan. The U.S.S. Oakland eventually landed back in the states and in San Diego he transferred to the U.S.S. Fectler,
While Forsse never saw battle, he said some of the most memorable times with the military were in China. While Forsse said that he didn’t like being in China, Forsse’s face lit up when he spoke of a basketball game he played at the YMCA. Forsse said, “We didn’t play any teams or anything, but we played mainly amongst ourselves.”
Following his time in China, Forsse spent four years with the Navy.
After the war ended, Forsse went to work. Forsse said, “I worked at an oil company that sold iso-bufane, butane and oil.” Forsse spent 23 years working at a medical testing center in Wichita.
Forsse humbly said that the military hadn’t affected him as it had some of his friends and other military soldiers. As he answered, he fidgeted with a picture of himself with another man in front of the WWII Memorial.
I said, “Can you tell me about that picture?”
Forsse said that a group called Honor Flight funded a trip for him and 51 other Veterans to Washington. The group of veterans, they went to Maryland and Washington to talk about their experience in the Military.
Forsse said, “l just got chosen for it. Isn’t that just the way it goes?”
Jonahs Joudrey is a junior majoring in conununication. You may email him at jonahs.joudrey@.ckans.edu.