Dying Pearl Harbor Sailor’s Final Wish Fulfilled

My father, Joseph Christopher Vayo was only eighteen when he joined the Navy in 1942.This story touched my heart and made me think of my dad. EM2 (Electrician’s Mate Second Class) Bud Cloud was also only eighteen years old, when he served on the USS Dewey during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

From the blog of Jennie Haskamp, a Marine Corps veteran who was fortunate to be adopted by the Pearl Harbor survivor,The men and women of the USS Dewey opened their ship and their hearts and quite literally made a dream come true for a dying Sailor.”

News Fox 5 anchor, Erica Fox reported: Bud and Anita Cloud drove from their home in Temecula to Naval Base San Diego. “We thought we were just going to come by, take pictures of the ship and drive on by,” said Anita Cloud. “We didn’t think anything like this was going to happen.” The sailors aboard the USS Dewey were ready.

Bud Cloud Fox5 San Diego

Bud Cloud Fox5 San Diego

“There were about 40 or 50 sailors there just waiting to say hi, just waiting to meet him,” said Damage Controlman Chad Simon who was there that day. “(They wanted) to say thank you.”   The sailors carried Cloud up to the ship in his wheelchair.

After about an hour, Bud became very tired. The 90 year old veteran was piped ashore. This honor is only given to distinguished visitors and high-ranking officials.  Bud died thirteen days later. His last days were spent talking about the ship, the sailors he met, and the stories they shared.  Bud asked to be buried with the ships coins he received. Rest in peace. God bless all of our veterans and their families.

Nobody in This Town Knows


89 year old, Ed Bray is a decorated WWII veteran. He’s covered up a secret for 80 years. His wife and a coworker helped him all this time. CBS news reports Ed as saying, “The toughest thing that ever happened to me in my life was not being able to read. I want to read one book,” he says. “I don’t care if it’s about Mickey Mouse. I want to read one book before I die.”

Through his life, Ed or his reading tutors would give up on the effort, until professor Tobi Thompson, from Oklahoma’s Northeastern State University came along.  She and Ed went from weekly chats to practicing sight words with flash cards.

During the first week in March of 2013, Ed read his first book about George Washington. Ed has since read three more third grade level biographies. Ed is thrilled with his new skill and gives this advice. “Get in there and learn, baby. Now! ‘Cause you ain’t going to learn in that pine box,” Bray says.

Ed has two Purple Hearts and numerous other medals for his courageous service during WWII. Now he has the treasure of reading. He is a wonderful example for us. He proves that it is never too late to learn.

Shiny Dog Tags in Rome Garden Belong to Ohio WWII Soldier

Photo from Lesley Blake

Imagine the surprise of the gardeners in Italy that found something shiny in their garden. Imagine the surprise of  Nellie Baranek in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, when she received the package containing the shiny dog tag of her late husband, Army Sgt. Mike Baranek.

Jim Carney of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote, Its next journey (dog tag) will take it to another battlefield of sorts.

The dog tag will be sent to Canada, where the veteran’s granddaughter, Tammy Mahoney, 41, will clasp it as she receives chemotherapy and radiation treatment for breast cancer in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

“I was very close to him,” said Mahoney, a Stow-Munroe Falls High School graduate and mother of three children. “By having this near me, hopefully it will get me through this.”The Baranek family learned the dog tag had been found a few days before Mahoney officially was diagnosed with cancer. Tammy feels like the dog tag is a message from her grandfather saying, “Here I am. I am watching over you,”

Tammy will hang on to her grandfather’s dog tag that he wore in battle as she battles cancer. God bless Tammy on her road to recovery and healing.

Together Again

This photo was taken in 1947–an engagement picture of  my parents, Joe and Mary Vayo.

My Dad was in the Navy for four years. When he returned home to Fairport Harbor, Ohio, he met this sweet girl at the  local  soda fountain.

Married June 19, 1948, they were together for 55 years.My Dad would sing to my Mom and they would go dancing at Euclid Beach Park.

Yesterday, June 28, 2011, my Mom passed away. Rejoice with me as my parents are once again dancing together. And my Dad is singing in her ear, “I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, a hug around the neck, I do , love you.” I miss you Mom and Dad.

The Sweet Mornful Sounds of Taps

Joseph Vayo

The sweet mournful sound of taps honored my father’s leaving, echoing in the cold December morning. The silence was shattered by a color guard firing a twenty-one-gun salute. Our country’s flag fluttered, as it lay draped over the casket of a hero, Joseph Vayo, a Navy veteran of WWII.

This description of my Dad’s funeral starts my story, “Boots to Ground” in Love You More Than You Know. Whenever I hear this tune played at flag ceremonies or other funerals, my mind drifts back to that morning in December of 2003. I miss you Dad.

In 1965, Nini Rosso, a trumpet player and composer, wrote II Silencio, using the melody of  taps as an extension for his song. This video is from a concert in the Netherlands featuring a music student, Melissa Venema.

OPW-Ohio Professional Writers


Members mingling

What a  wonderful meeting listening to three speakers (I was one for Love You More Than You Know), sharing ideas, tips, talking about writing, and eating lunch.


Vivian Goodman, President of OPW

Our roles as mothers


I am forwarding this email I received from my oldest son, Erich. A friend of his sent it to him. I think this is an absolutely fabulous idea for mother’s day and it feels good to know that your book is making a difference.
Love, Gloria
The email reads:

Hey, just so you know… 
I always host a mother’s day brunch at my home that is rather fancy and I go all out trying to highlight my mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sisters, godmother, aunts, etc.  
This year, as is every year, I had a theme.  This year, I made it a patriotic theme and did the dining room up with the china, crystal, and old war photos of the men and women in our mother’s lives that were involved in the military.  So, there were pictures of all the black and white WWI, Korean, WWII, Vietnam, and Gulf War pics of the men in our lives.  Our focus after all the typical girl talk was to talk about how war or the military affected our roles as mothers.  Wow!  Did we have some real bonding moments.  
To spark the conversation, I gave everyone a copy of the book you mom was published in and we read her short story as a prelude to our talk…it was so wonderful…