WWII PT Boat Veteran Milt Rackham tells his
harrowing stories of terror and personal triumph...
Listening to the Fading Voice of a WWII Navy Veteran...
The men and women who stand in defense of our country offer their lives to protect us,
something that we celebrate on an annual basis in parades and national days of recognition. In the case of World War II veterans, history speaks of them as being members of the “Greatest Generation”.
There are indications, however, that these same veterans are not honored in fact and in deed when we look beyond the pomp and circumstance.
- 16% of American homeless adults are veterans, while veterans make up only 10% of the total population.
- Only 27% of veterans who apply for VA benefits are successful in obtaining the assistance that they need.
- The number of veteran suicides now exceeds the annual number of men and women killed in action.
- An increasing number of those in current generations are not aware of the price that was paid for our liberty.
Milt Rackham, an 88 year old WWII Veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, believes that the problem stems from a lack of public awareness, something that he decided to address by co-authoring his memoirs entitled “PT Boat-81 Still on WWII Nightmare Patrol”. But the book, which was featured as 27 weekly articles in the Big Rapids Pioneer and the Belding News, turns out to have told only part of the Milt Rackham story.
During the writing of his memoirs, co- author Myrl Thompson discovered that Milt had applied for VA benefits several times beginning in 1972... and been repeatedly denied as a result of "lack of information". For the next forty years ongoing efforts to find his military records had been unsuccessful and he stopped looking when he discovered that a large number of WWII records were lost in a fire at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis MO in 1973.
Milt made one last request for VA Benefit consideration as a result of writing his book in 2012... and ended up receiving a partial monthly benefit at a 50% level... with a lump sum for the several month period back to the date of his final application.
Often times veterans in Milt's situation have been so unable to talk about their wartime experiences that they have opted instead to quietly go about the business of raising their families and bearing the burden of their nightmares and injuries without compensation of any kind.
We hope that you will take some time to browse this site and become familiar with Milt's wartime experiences. His memoirs, now compiled in a rivoting book entitled "PT Boat- 81: Still on Nightmare Patrol" is a rare, open and sometimes disturbing account of some of his wartime experiences. It is a chronicle of terror and personal triumph and gives us poignant insight into the ongoing impact of war on veterans and their families.