Paul Vansteenbergen's Military Experience
ship. He went inside and placed his standard issue backpack on his cot and then returned to the
top deck to wave goodbye to his family and friends, who were waiting in the wooden pier below.
Men leaned over railings, climbed on lifeboats, and perched midway up the masts to catch a last
glimpse of their families. Now, at age eightynine he retells the story in his Guilford home. He
verbalizes how he managed to go from his childhood home in Hamden to the Air Force. He
explained that he joined because of his prior knowledge of motors and his curiosity of flying. Mr.
VanSteenbergen is an inspiration to me to succeed in doing what I desire in life. He also …show more content…
Mr. VanSteenbergen learned from experience that small choices can
influence the course of an entire life, which he choice to join the Air Force did. Mr.
VanSteenbergen’s decsion to join the service may have molded him into the kind, bighearted
man he is now.
When I interviewed Mr. VanSteenbergen, he was excited for his military experience to be
written down, as it never has before. I am extremely honored to be the first to do so. Mr.
VanSteenbergen came to the interview armed with a notebook page full of dates and important
events in his military history. He also came prepared with pictures of his formal dress uniform as
a military policemen and images from a roll of film he found in his dresser drawer six months
earlier depicting the photos he took while in Japan. This willingness to help others inspired me
to write down his story and not let his extra work go to waste. Mr. Van even showcased the
Japanese rifle he used as a military policemen and the three swords he sent home on orders to
ship Japanese weapons out of Japan to keep the Japanese men from continuing to fight the
Americans. Mr. VanSteenbergen’s story shows that not all military experiences of the time of
World War II and the Occupation were