Chattanooga's Sydney Skillern tells his story of serving in WWII
Sydney Skillern is now his mid-90's, but 75 years ago he was serving his country unloading and loading ships in World War II.
"Daddy was a hard working man. I always aspired to marry a man like my dad," Sydney Skillern's daughter, Veronica Walker told me. "Somebody who supported his family, a God fearing man, taught you values."
Mr. Skillern grew up first in Bakewell and later moved to Chattanooga.
He was drafted when he was 18. In 1943 he was sent to Fort Benning in Georgia.
"I didn't feel anyway sad about it. I figured if everybody else was going, and people volunteering from High School going, so I wanted a trip too," Mr. Skillern said.
I asked him about his time training in Fort Benning. He didn't tell me about learning to be a solider. He told me about signing his draft documents.
"I joined the Army. I joined the Army real good. That's when you sign all of the papers, and wrote to your people back home. You done joined then. You done give your life away," Mr. Skillern said.
He also told me about his faith.
"I received Christ as my savior," Mr. Skillern said.
He went from Fort Benning to Alaska.
"My job was loading and unloading ships," Mr. Skillern said.
He says he worked all over Alaska doing the same job.
"It was cold in some places, and it was moderate some. The majority was cold," Mr. Skillern said.
He left Alaska after the war in 1946. When he came home he got married and built a house.
The house is still in the family. Mr. Skillern married his wife in 1947. She passed away in 2017. They were together 70 years.
"I'm proud of this old timer right here. My dad," Veronica Walker said.