When I was 12 years old, my father, John Ray Barrick, passed away. He was a World War II hero. We didn't find out what the complete story was until we received our dad's war records.
He had mentioned a Purple Heart, and throwing his medals overboard because they were reminders of good friends he'd lost. He was in and out of Veterans Administration Hospitals and died of battle fatigue.
My mother, Esther Barrick, is a real hero in her own right. She was in charge of eight children - five boys and three girls. Times were tough and heartaches were many. I feel like we were all survivors of World War II.
According to the The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Oklahoma:
"Barrick joined the Navy in March 1942 as a 19-year-old fresh out of Healdton, and served until June 1945. Thirty of his 39 months of duty were spent at sea. Records show he twice survived attack, and ships he fought on led strikes on Palai, first and second Visayas, Manila,Nansei Shoto, Formosa, and Luzon.
"Barrick won the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon with bronze star, the American Area Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three stars and the World War II Victory Medal"
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.