My trip to Howard Martin services was a very emotional one. I have known Howard’s brother-n-law for several years. In 2010 I received an email from Mike Williams asking me if I was the same Tonja Anderson that posted a comment looking for family members from the missing C-124 that crashed in 1952. We created a bond from that day forth.
I attended the services of Howard this weekend and it was amazing. I walked into the room and I watched the siblings standing in the front greeting everyone as they come in. The smile on their face was so warming to my heart and bought tears to my eyes. A young lady walks up to me and asked if I was Tonja Anderson. I informed her I was and she was excited as her mother was waiting to meeting me. (She live right here in Tampa) I finally made my way to the front of the line and I met one sibling at a time. Each one of them took a part of me but the one that made me break down was Roy. I had a cold & did not want to get close to him and at the end of the service he made his way to me. He grabbed my arm, waved his hand for me to come closer to him, we put our foreheads together, he whispered “Thank You Tonja” and we cried.
I also had a surprise for the Martin Family not only did a family of Airman Anderson come but Airman Turner niece Debra Jones and her husband attended the service too. This would be the first time her and I had met as well. Yes, the tears were flowing too.
The town of Elwood showed that they had waited 62 years to Welcome Howard Martin home. Thank you Elwood, Patriot Guard, VFW, the Mayor, and all that help welcome Howard Martin home.
“We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! ~Independence Day
They live every day in each one of us!