Thank you for the opportunity to write about my husband and Hero who “Served with Honor” in WW II ("From the Editor: Introducing They Served with Honor," June 30).

Thomas Wayne Rhodes talked his mother, Margaret, into signing her okay for him to enlist at 17 year of age. Birth date, Aug. 28, 1926

He served as a coxswain in the U.S. Navy, transporting soldiers from ship to shore. He served for 2 ½ years. Was honorably discharged on Dec. 28, 1945.

Up until the day he died, March 5, 1990, he would never speak of the war.

Tommy --  everyone called him Tommy --  was loved by all. He loved life, sometimes he would be more of a kid when he was with our four children than they were.

When we learned that Tommy had cancer, with no known cure, we were devastated. But, we agreed that it was a blessing that if one had to die in the family, it was much better for it to be one of us, certainly, than one of our children, Greg Rhodes, Susan Fuller, Steve Rhodes or Judy Schindler.

We enjoyed 40 years together, with our four wonderful children, and we felt lucky to have had those very special years together.

The war was one dramatic phase of his life, and being a wonderful son, husband and father was another.

We never bothered him about sharing his stories from the war, as it troubled him to relive that time.

Thank you, again. I loved sharing Tommy’s story with you.

Betty Rhodes


Editor's note: We are collecting stories of veterans living in our community for a series this summer. To suggest a person to profile, visit bit.ly/2J7iRHf. As a practical matter, we will be sharing stories of living veterans in our series, but we welcome interesting stories of late veterans or of active duty military people from Napa. We will do our best to share those stories where we can.

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