Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

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Navy Portrait

Veteran Armand Grasso

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Admin

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My dad, Armand Grasso, Sr., is now a resident at Atria Briarcliff Manor in Briarcliff, New York. He has been there for a few months now and is enjoying his stay. He is getting used to the facility and is enjoying the routine. I am extremely happy with everyone there, from the manager to all the staff. They are remarkable. Below is a small essay of my dad's WWII experience. He is a wonderful man and I am very proud of him. Thank you.

— Armand Grasso, Jr. Yorktown, New York.

Born in the Bronx, New York, Armand Grasso enlisted in the Navy during his senior year in high school. In October 1944, Armand was sent to basic training in upstate New York. After basic training, he was assigned to the U.S.S. Tortuga (LSD-26). His ship was called an LSD, or “Landing Ship Dock.” It was responsible for carrying, collecting and repairing the landing crafts that were used to land on the beaches for battle. His ship was laid down in October 1944 at the Boston Navy Yard and launched in January 1945. It began its shakedown cruises in the Atlantic, off of Boston, Massachusetts.

In June 1945 the ship was commissioned. Since the war on the European front had just ended, its first assignment was to join a massive fleet of ships on their way to the invasion of Japan. The ship went through the Panama Canal and was halfway to Japan when word got to them that the war was over. Japan had surrendered after suffering massive devastation from the world’s first two atomic bombs. After a huge celebration on the ship, it continued on its course to China, Korea and Japan.

After arriving in Japan, Armand received a telegram notifying him of his mother’s impending death. After traveling thousands of miles to get back in time, he missed his mother’s funeral by three days. It was a low point in what has been a wonderful life. He reported to a base in the states and was honorably discharged in January 1946.

— Armand Grasso Sr., Veteran and Atria Briarcliff Manor resident

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