PEMBROKE, NY - A man whose mission is to teach others, is looking to learn something of his own about a late relative who served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.
And he’s hoping that you might be able to help him.
“Anything I can learn about history, especially about my family, is very important to me,” said Arron Brown, a 4th grade teacher at Pembroke Intermediate School.
Specifically, Brown is trying to learn as much as he can about his Grandfather, Daniel Boerl, of Binghamton, who joined the Navy on December 8, 1941, one day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Boerl served aboard the U.S.S. Charleston, an Erie Class gun boat stationed in the Aleutian Islands, and died on December 7, 1999.
On social media, Brown has posted a picture of his grandfather and his shipmates, and an image of the reverse side of the photo, which bears the names of the ship’s crew and where they were from.
He hopes someone might recognize any of the sailors in the photo and contact him.
“Knowing that the World War II veterans are getting up there in age, I need all the help I can get,” said Brown, well aware that the average World War II veteran is in their mid-90s now, and that they -- according to the Department of Veteran Affairs - -are dying at a rate of nearly 400 per day.
“With all these great veterans disappearing unfortunately their stories aren’t being told anymore,” Brown said.
There are memories of his grandfather all around Brown’s classroom, including additional photos, all of which serve as teaching tools for his fourth graders who study World War II as part of their curriculum.
What a thing it would be, for them, if they could hear from one of his Grandfather’s shipmates.
“It would be awesome, you know, because we can stream everything right through the smartboard,” said Brown. “So he could be anywhere in the country talking to my students in New York...so if I can find even just one person to share their story with my students, I’m gonna do that.”
It's more likely Brown will find others of his own generation-- the grandchildren of the brave men who served-- to share their stories and fill in the pieces.
Anyone with information is welcome to contact brown via e-mail at: email@example.com or via Twitter: @MrBrown4thGrade