My father, Paul Eugene Ballinger (May 1923-October 2001), served in World War II from Jan 13, 1943, to Oct 23, 1945, in the U.S. Army as Private First Class Company B 56th Signal Battalion. He was a driver and mechanic. His battles and campaigns include Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe. His decorations and citations included European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with five Bronze Stars and Good Contact Medal.
A few years ago I created a military tribute section in my basement to honor his service. The tribute includes a copy of his Honorable Discharge paper, history of his service, a German dress sword, a photo album which includes photos of my father in uniform, a photo of him standing beside his truck while holding his gun, foreign coins and bills, plus other war related photos.
When asked if my dad was frightened to serve in war, he said, “A young man of 19 feels invincible when joined with a huge group of brave and fit solders who are fighting together as one for freedom. A young man’s blood runs hot and strong.”
My dad, as well as my mother, were both lifetime members of the Lima VFW Post 1275. My dad was local Commander as well as District 2 Commander in 1965.
In June 2016 I purchased a Veterans Freedom Flag Brick to be placed on the uniquely designed Veterans Freedom Flag Monument located on Buckeye Road, in Lima. It is the largest known permanent flag monument in the United States. The granite bricks are Red for hardiness and valor, White for purity and innocence, and Blue for vigilance and perseverance and justice. The best way to honor the flag and to honor those who served in the past and present is to exercise your privilege to vote and to strongly encourage others to vote for candidates who represent our freedom and democracy and Constitution values.
I am grateful for his sacrifice and service to the land of the free and home of the brave. God bless America!