About a year ago, a Westbrook veteran received a return letter after writing President George H.W. Bush.
Leo Conley, a WWII Navy veteran had been a quartermaster aboard an LST, a landing ship that carried Marines and tanks. He wrote to Bush on Sept. 25, 2016, that he had seen with binoculars a pilot circling the convoy of ships before crashing into the sea south of Okinawa during the battle.
Conley wrote that a destroyer rescued the pilot from the wing of the sinking plane. Conley long wondered whether Bush, the 41st U.S. President, had been the pilot he witnessed.
Bush responded on Oct. 27. “I’m glad that the pilot you refer to was rescued, but it was not me,” Bush wrote. “My crew and I were shot down over Chi Chi Jima, but only I survived. Hellcat fighter pilots flew over my life raft until I was picked up by the submarine USS Finback.”
“God had spared me, but it was a long time before I recovered from the loss of my good friends.”
Bush thanked Conley. “I’m always happy to hear from fellow veterans, and I salute you for your service,” he wrote in the opening paragraph of his letter to Conley.
Conley and Bush were each born in 1924 – Conley June 15 and Bush June 12.
Lowry’s Lodge poetry series continues at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Continuum for Creativity, 863 Main St., Westbrook.
Jim Glenn Thatcher and James Breslin are the featured poets. Anna Wrobel and Jim Donnelly are hosting the event.
The program includes light fare and a question and answer opportunity. Suggested donation is $4.
Dementia discussion at Avita
A guest speaker, Linda Son, LCSW from Port Resources Inc., will speak at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Avita of Stroudwater, 113 Landing Road, Westbrook.
Son will discuss Port Resources and speak about available outpatient services.
RSVP by calling 857-9007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.