A California woman’s gift to her husband for his 75th birthday has broughta group of World War II veterans together in Des Moines for a reunion. Rather than buy her husband something for his birthday in June, 70-year-old Stella Perez decided to try to find her husband’s World War II shipmates and organize a reunion. Louis Perez served on the U-S-S Sheridan, an attack transport that received six battle stars for action in the Pacific during World War II. Another vet had tried to find the Sheridan shipmates in order to organize a reunion, but gave up because of health problems.Mrs. Perez got the 700-pages of deck logs for the Sheridan — which listed 550 sailors. She and her husband then used the Internet to find addresses for those sailors and sent them postcards.Mrs. Perez got all sorts of responses, but many of the vets can’t come to Des Moines. Over 100 vets sent photos and mementos for display at the reunion.Forty-five vets are coming from across the country for the reunion. Mrs. Perez met her husband after he’d been discharged from the Navy, and it’s only in the past few years she’s learned the details of her husband’s service in the Pacific. She says they were so busy after getting married that they never talked about it.The Sheridan was named for the famous Union general of the Civil War. The armored transport delivered troops and supplies to points of attack in the Pacific during World War II, and sometimes served as a floating hospital.
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