Veteran’s service not in vain

On May 27, one Frank Donai passed from this world. The Donais were a farm family who lived next door to us until they all died or moved away.

Frank was drafted into the U.S. Army on my second birthday. While serving in the Army Air Corps he was sent to defend the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. He and about 70,000 other troops were forced to surrender to the Japanese. After surviving the Bataan Death March, he was sent to several different prison camps in Japan, where he served over 3 1/2 years of slave labor. He was finally freed in September 1945, weighing just 86 pounds. Frank was officially discharged in April 1946. When he returned home he began many years of employment at Rome Cable as a tool and die maker. He became a happy, friendly neighbor and American citizen who never asked for a handout or anything more than an average working stiff.

Frank later married the former Doris Pritchard and they raised a family never thinking they deserved anymore than the rest in spite of his past sacrifice. While Frank was a Japanese POW, his brother, Jesse (Cap as his friends knew him), was killed in action in France as a tank crewman in 1944.

As we watch this country seem to go down the tube morally, financially and spiritually, we’ll miss your friendly smile Frank, and hope and pray your service was not in vain. May God bless America.

— Floyd "Pete" Hawes,

11382 Route 26, Town of Ava