WWII Veteran's Family Shares Stories, Positive Outlook
Upon the passing of a World War II veteran, his family wishes to remember him for his service and remarkably positive outlook.
James Preston Ahrend wasn't just Jennifay Richardson and Starlee Giles' grandfather; he was their father figure. Daddy Papa was his nickname.
Before he served as their dad, he was in the Army. As Preston was known, he was drafted into the armed forces as young as 19 during World War II.
He stormed the Normandy beaches on D-Day, 1944. Richardson and Giles said their Daddy Papa told them horrible war stories, but those stories were usually lighthearted.
Giles explained that it sounded like a stampede of horses approached them. However, it was merely a group of people with wooden shoes.”He took to the phrase ‘glass half full.
Richardson explained, "That grenade could have gone off but did not, so I'm still here for a reason.". He raised four kids and three grandkids and worked for American Airlines for 40 years. Almost 70 years later, he died just a few days shy of his 98th birthday after a long and loving relationship.
Richardson is devastated by the loss but recalls the blessings his father left behind: "He would have wanted us to carry on his legacy."