PLYMOUTH -- Naval Veteran Tom Tharp will be honoring all who served with a historic display of military memorabilia at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar located at on North Oak Road Drive in Plymouth from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Veterans Day.
He will be sharing a portion of his military memorabilia from all the wars reflecting all branches of the United States Military. “I’m a veteran. We’re all brothers and sisters who were involved.”
Tharp was a seaman on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Vietnam Era. The ship was an aircraft carrier for 80 to 90 planes. “The Roosevelt was the first aircraft carrier to launch and land a jet plane.” He has a photograph of “The last crew of the Rosie.” “The Rusty Rosie we called it.”
Included in his display will be items from World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII), including actual photographs that were taken on D-Day, June 6, 1944) during WWII when the Allied forces invaded France through beach landings in Normandy. “I’ve got pictures of actual landings on D-Day. It shows what these guys went through. We lost a lot of people during D-Day.”
Tharp shares his display at Veterans Health Administration (VA) Centers. “I didn’t really think it would be this important to people, but they swarm around it and look through the books and reminisce.”
His father served in WWII. When his father returned, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was not yet clinically classified. “He got it bad. My mother died when I was very young just a few years after I was born. That was the love of his life.”
His father started struggling from the loss, in addition to suffering terrible nightmares including his experience as a Prisoner of War (POW), and attempted to soothe his pain with alcohol. “He was a good man. He worked every single day. We lived on a farm. He worked every single day. He went to work at U.S. Steel. Never missed a day.”
It was a challenge for his son to understand what he was experiencing. “I was so young I just didn’t realize what he was going through.”
Tharp and his wife welcome the public to visit them at Applebee’s. “There’s more people that are more important than me. This is my dedication to them, all those other people.”
We thank you for your priceless service, Mr. Tharp, and all veterans and their loved ones who have served, are serving and will serve.