The Cavendish Historical Society's accepts tax-deductible contributions to help preserve our history. You can reach us at email@example.com 802-226-7807 or PO Box 472 Cavendish, VT 05142 The CHS Museum is located at 1958 Main Street (Route 131) in Cavendish.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Remembering Our Veterans: Jim Hasson
Poster that inspired Jim to enlist in WWII
the last five years, Jim Hasson, a WWII veteran, has been speaking about his
experiences with the Cavendish Town Elementary School 6th graders.
Jim was a Seabee, which built roadways, airstrips and other projects in the
South Pacific. Enlisting at 17, he was inspired by a poster of a soldier
carrying a rifle jumping off a road grater. Before he was even 20, Jim had been
at War for two years.
moving to Cavendish from New Jersey and started his own business, Jim remained
in the military. He was involved in other wars and conflicts through Vietnam.
It was this latter war that the students were most
base operator in Vietnam, a position similar to the head of public works, Jim
was responsible for 179 buildings. He told stories of how doctors and nurses
treated cleft palate, and noted that the United States actually did a lot of
good, much more than many realize. He talked of the Buddhists beliefs that were
so different but much appreciated by him. By now he was in his 40s with a
business, four children and a wife, so the youthful enthusiasm he had in WWII
was considerably dampened. However, he described how much he liked and
respected the Vietnamese noting how similar they were to the old Vermont Yankees-“they
loved their farms, family and fishing boats.”
asked what he wanted the children to know about Veterans, Jim said “when you
joined the military you sign a blank check to the American people. You swear an
oath and you don’t have an ego anymore.” Ultimately though, he said that at his
age-not quite 90- he realized that the most important thing in life is “not
what you got, but what you gave.”
of the children talked about their family members that have served or are
currently in the military. Jim told them, “Feel proud of them, they did their
you shot at?” “Did you ever fire your gun?” Jim responded to those questions by
saying that he never fired his gun at a human being and yes, he was shot at a
number of times. During the Tet Offensive (Jan. 31, 1968) he said they were
under siege for 52 hours. He described jumping out of bed and crawling into a
fox hole. Rockets would pass so low overhead they would suck the wind out
explained that there is a lot of confusion with war and particularly after WWII
there was a lot of questions about whether the United States should be involved
in the various wars and conflicts. Jim’s definition of war was quite poignant,
“War is a mother with her face down on the kitchen table crying.” Watch Jim on Seabee TV.
Jim and all of our veterans, thank you for your service today and every day.