Memorial Day began as Decoration Day following our Civil War “as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers” explains the US Dept Veterans Affairs Memorial Day History web page. We are also reminded:

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Honor this day by remembering our passed military family and friends. I’m looking forward to decorating my Uncle Raymond Rodriguez’s grave site on Monday. He served in the US Navy from 1947 – 1970 during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

This photo was given to my mother, Francine Flores. 

He served on the USS Horace A Bass between 1947 – 1951 during the Korean War in which received the Navy Unit Commendation in 1950. He was stationed at Naval Station Kodiak in Alaska from 1955-1956. Toured on the USS Duncan (DD-874) from 1956-1957 during the Vietnam War. Then he continued to criss-cross the Pacific Ocean as he toured on ships and stationed on bases:

  • Naval Station Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands from 1957-1958
  • Service Craft Unit Naval Station San Diego 1958-1960
  • The USS Walker DDE 517 from 1960-1963
  • Naval Station Sangley Point in the Philippines from 1963-1964
  • Naval Administrative Command of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center from 1965-1967
  • The USS Nueces APB 40 from 1968-1969
  • Then finally NRTC Stockton from 1969-1970.

This photo was taken in July 1970 when Raymond Rodriguez retired from service. 

My fondest memories are of him taking care of my cousins, sister and I over the summer. We loved when he would take us swimming at the pool on Stockton’s Rough & Ready Naval Depot. And then are times where we just simply hung around the house.  He could be so ornery at times but he loved us so much. He passed away from cirrhosis of the liver in 1988.

UncleRay_1981
My Uncle Raymond and I just hanging around.

Remembering him now has brought up questions I wish he was here to answer. I wish, and this is a call out for any help, I could find photos of him in active duty. Online searches of his ships and base locations have led me to several photos but not a glimpse of him. I would appreciate someone who can help direct me in that kind of search.

Thank you for sharing in this day with me!

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