Support for Veterans and a Centenarian Speaks

First Class Petty Officer Francis W. Preston, a 102-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, served in the Pacific during World War II. Fran shares his journey from sailing the war-torn seas to becoming a soul seeker. 

Domenick Lasorsa is the grateful son of a navy veteran with a heart to serve others, to give back. Domenick shares about support for military veterans and their families in this short, upbeat, informative video.

Domenick Lasorsa, son of a veteran, shares on support and services for veterans from his personal experience and working with veteran’s organizations.

*Please note correction: My husband worked for Habitat for two years, not five.

Francis W. Preston ~ WWII U.S. Navy Veteran and Centenarian

Francis W Preston entered the U.S. Navy on February 3rd 1943, served in the Pacific during WWII, and completed his time in the military on February 5th,1 946. After about six months of training, Fran was assigned to the USS LST-128 (Landing Ship for Tanks). Laid out in Evansville, IN, commissioned on 11 October 1943, and assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, the 328 foot USS LST-128 sailed down the Ohio and Mississippi River, through the Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal, into the Pacific. 

Fran’s job as a diesel engine maintenance mechanic, (Motor Machinist Mate – MOMM C/1), aboard the USS LST-128 kept him below deck in the engine room, working on the main engines that propelled the ship. “This was the same type of engine used in trains at the time,” Fran shared. The USS LST-128 participated in four campaigns and earned four battle stars for its service in WWII:

  • Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro — 31 January to 8 February 1944
  • Capture and occupation of Saipan —  15 June to 28 July 1944
  • Capture and occupation of southern — Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944
  • Capture and occupation of Tinian —  24 to 28 July 1944 

“After its capture by U.S.-led Allied forces in 1944, the island [Tinian] was converted into a major U.S. military air base, equipped with what were then the world’s longest runways. In August 1945 two U.S. bombers based at Tinian dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” —  Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Tinian.” Encyclopedia Britannica, May 31, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/place/Tinian.

Before the  328 foot USS LST-128 hit the shore, the crew dropped a reeled anchor from the rear. The ship pulled onto the beach, the bow opened, and large tanks with armored soldiers emerged and charged ashore to battle. The crew then reeled the ship back out into the waters toward the anchor. 

“I was only afraid during the first of the four invasions when I heard the gunfire. I didn’t know what to expect.”

“Obey your superiors. Do the best you can. You can do it if you put your heart and mind to it.” Fran counsels our active duty military.

“I don’t like the idea of war, of people going to shoot somebody else. But if it’s necessary to defend our country or to defend people who can’t defend themselves, I’d do it again. I love our nation.”

After Fran’s military service, he became a meat cutter. His first wife died, he remarried and divorced.

“I was an active member in the Catholic Church, doing the best I could. But there was something missing, and I was searching.” Fran recalled. “Once in a while, I’d listen to other Christian services on radio and television. I said, ‘there’s something I have to find out. Those people seem happier than we are in our church.’ I got saved watching an Assembly of God church service on television. The preacher said I could kneel right there and pray to become born again and that is what I did. I accepted the Lord into my heart, and became a Christian.” 

“But there’s more! I’ve got to find it.” Fran said. So he visited other churches.

“The Christians at the new church I went to seemed happy with what they were doing. But I wanted to reach people [outside the church]. But how? One of my friends had the same problem I did—finding God but not hearing much about Him in the churches we attended.” 

Fran and his friend had heard about Victory Chapel, a young pioneer church, then meeting in a little storefront building by the Little Peach convenience store in Yarmouth, Cape Cod. They decided to try it. 

The pastor at Victory Chapel, Pastor Paul Stevens, invited people to come and give their heart to the Lord at the end of every service. Fran began attending Church services at Victory Chapel and went on their outreaches to share the Gospel message with others. “This is what I like. “Fran said. “Pastor Stephens was a great preacher. He and I got along really well.”

“This is my church. I’m going to stay here.” Fran said in 1984.

“What does Jesus mean to you, Fran?” I said.

“Jesus is everything to me! And the Bible. The more you read the Bible, the more you learn about Jesus. Both the old and New Testament. Many things Jesus said He answered from the old testament. The more I read the Bible, the more I love it.” 

I found Fran with head bent over his Bible when I showed up unannounced to visit him mid-afternoon last week. 

“Jesus taught me how to live, how to love, and how to talk to people. I used to be shy. Jesus offers you a new life. Other religions take some things from the Bible and leave some out—there’s one mediator between God and man. Confess your sins to Him. Don’t look back.”

“Having Jesus in my heart means He’s there whenever I need Him. I know I’m going to Heaven.”

“I try to be a good example to my children. I keep praying for them—Five children, ten grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.”

No worries there, Fran. You’re a wonderful example to your family and to us all.

I asked Fran how we, as a country, can better serve our veterans

Francis W. Preston ~ WWII U.S. Navy Veteran – wearing his original uniform.

“I think all our needs are being met. I couldn’t ask for anything more as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Fran’s been twice widowed. In the last year, he battled a collapsed lung which landed him in the hospital. A few months later, he battled COVID and won. But at 102 years-old Fran doesn’t miss a beat: He still attends church faithfully, greets all cheerfully by name, and is always eager to share what he’s thankful for and about his faith.

“I love my life. The lord has been very good to me. I’m thankful.” He says. 

Thank you for your service to our country and for your faithfulness to Jesus, Fran. 

Scroll for Resources Below

Humbled, honored, blessed to share my testimony on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. Click HERE to read mt testimony: A Mail Carrier’s Mistake Saved Her from Suicide

PURE GOLD: “A disciplined life is born of effort, not excuses.” — Pastor and author Michael Duncan

Think not yourself a Christian if you hate the righteousness God loves and love the sin He hates. — Pastor and author Michael Duncan Click to catch the conversation with Pastor Duncan—master of the one-line sermon in my prior post HERE.

Click HERE for excerpts from and links to all my interviews featuring pastors, pastor’s wives, and missionaries from around the world!

Announcements!

NEW BOOK RELEASE featuring three of my poems along with poems from seven other writers. Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry  introduces several forms of poetry with explanations, examples of each, followed by four to six questions inspired by each featured poem’s style and message, journal writing prompts, and more. Resource list included. A great choice for writers, homeschool students, personal devotion time. Available on Amazon in TWO cover choices.

Check out these and other titles in the Journaling Scribbles Collection

*UPCOMING: A series of interviews featuring law enforcement officers from around the country coming soon!

https://tattooitonyourheart.com/category/interviews/interviews-with-our-military/Click HERE for excerpts from and links to my interviews featuring U.S. military service members.

RESOURCES

Programs for Military Veterans and their Families

Paralyzed Veterans of America https://pva.org
Purple Heart Homes https://purplehearthomesusa.org
Travis Manion https://www.travismanion.org
Wounded Warrior Project https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org
Disabled American Veterans https://www.dav.org
Student Veterans of America https://studentveterans.org
Veterans of Foreign Wars https://www.vfw.org
Habitat for Humanity Veterans Build https://www.habitat.org/volunteer/near-you/veterans-build
Habitat for Humanity Repair Corps Program https://www.habitat.org/volunteer/near-you/veterans-build/home-depot-repair-corps-program
National League of Cities https://www.nlc.org/about/programs/
Operation Heal our patriots (A Ministry of Samaritan’s Purse International) https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/about-operation-heal-our-patriots/
Samaritan’s Purse Team Patriot https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/team-patriot/

SUBSCRIBE to the Tattoo it on Your Heart Newsletter for notifications of new blog posts, occasional offers and FREEBIES like this:

CLICK HERE for updated Good News in a Sea of Bad News! 2021 free downloadable Gospel tract with new artwork by Christian cartoonist and writer, Jeff Larson

Focus on the Family Counseling Services & Referrals:

To request a conversation with Focus on the Family’s Counseling Department with one of their licensed or pastoral counseling specialists at no cost to you: 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

24/7/ 365 days a year Call:  1-800-273-8255

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team ~ National Law Enforcement Ministry

A Chaplain Ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association  24 hour Prayer Line: (888) 388-2683.

Click HERE to read my testimony: A Mail Carrier’s Mistake Saved Her from Suicide on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

© 2021 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On your Heart

Author: Rachael M Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaith Chat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, and on the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate. Her WIPs include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website, TattooItOnYourHeart.com—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

4 thoughts on “Support for Veterans and a Centenarian Speaks”

  1. So enjoyed both your video interview with Mr. Dominick (such a caring heart for service) and Mr. Fran (the WWII vet). Mr. Dom shows us what a true servant’s heart looks like. I’ve always been impressed with the work PVA does and how they advocate for veterans and their rights. So many fail to consider the debt owed to our veterans. Especially to those who returned from war broken and damaged (inside and out). As for Mr. Fran, how can you not smile at this gentleman’s spirit. I’m so glad he continued to search for God. As for his assessment on veteran’s care, and what more can be done, I have mixed emotions. Yes, some of the VA care providers are exceptional people who go above and beyond to help vets. Others, much like any workplace, offer no emotion or caring; they simply attempt to perform their job without compassion, kindness, or sense of respect. As for doing more? I think that is a responsibility that goes far beyond the reach (or attempted overreach of government). Every citizen should understand the debt they owe our veterans, including our fellow veterans in some cases, and look for ways to help. So enjoyed your post Ms. Rachael. Thank you and God’s blessings ma’am.

    Like

    1. Thank you for contributing your thoughts, JD. I pray many will read and heed your counsel from a veteran’s perspective. Thank you also for your service to our nation, and to Jesus. Blessed you enjoyed this post. God bless you and your pen, JD.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: