Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2010


As a pastor I get to experience a lot of different events. Thursday night of this past week May 13, 2010 was one of my favorites. Mac McLain and his wife Jeannette, members of my congregation, invited Barbara and me to come to a reunion cookout at their house for Mac and some of his WWII shipmates aboard the USS Samuel S. Miles.  What a privilege it was to be invited to a dinner with men who served their country proudly during WWII.  Their numbers are growing smaller with each passing year.  In addition to Mac being there, Warren Tripp from Florida and Bob Plassachert from Indiana were also there. Their shipmate Wayne O’Brien had made it from Iowa to his son’s house 35 miles away but then became too weak to make it the rest of the way. I am amazed at how close these men are 60 years later. I guess fighting a War together will do that.

In trying to think of a way in which I could honor them, I contacted a long time friend from High School who now serves as Vice Admiral in the Navy and serves as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense to see if he would write a letter acknowledging their contribution during WWII. He agreed to do it and took the time to research the battle record for their ship and thanking each one of them by name, and I had the privilege of reading it to them at the cookout.

To see tears well up in the eyes of a few old sailors was very moving to say the least. They could not believe that a Vice Admiral would take time out of his unbelievably busy schedule to write a personal letter to the four of them. It was the first time that they had ever received that kind of recognition and the pride they had in serving their country was evident through their tears.

It was one of the greatest privileges of my life! Thank you Mac, Bob, Warren and Wayne. And Thank you Admiral Kernan.

L to R. Warren Tripp, Bob Plassachert, Mac McLain, Dave Adams



  1. Wonderful story. Those men who served in WW2
    will never be forgotten.

    Thank you for your effort in getting the letters for these men.

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