From Tin Can to Tablets

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World War II Veterans reconnect after 70 years.

During World War II, aboard the USS Mayrant DD402, a pair of Navy mates, Edward and Mike served our country. They, like the rest of the seamen aboard the ship, had an undeniable bond. Mike was ultimately sent shore side for special electrical training. Shortly thereafter, the destroyer was bombed. Edward who had remained on board, survived, but wouldn’t see or hear from his friend for 70 years.

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A lot has changed in the past 70 years. Back then, the idea of a cordless wireline phone was a novel concept, let alone a cell phone with video conferencing. Tablets and smartphones weren’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eyes 70 years ago.

This year for Christmas, 92-year-old Edward got his first tablet. Being an avid researcher, his first stop online would be learning about search engines. His first search, “Tin Can Sailors.” That’s the name they called destroyer veterans. Edward hoped his new tablet would help him find his old Navy buddies, especially Mike.

Edward’s persistence paid off.  He found the USS Mayrant DD402 registry where former sailors enter their personal information online, and view other seamen who were on board during their stint.  Edward anxiously entered his old buddy’s name, one tap on the screen at a time. Success! Right there in his hands, his tablet screen lit up with the phone number of his old friend.

Excited about what technology had gifted him, he gave the number a try. When his old mate answered the phone, Edward greeted Mike with his on board nickname simply saying, “This is Cosmo.” And that’s all it took.  The two navy buddies immediately reconnected and took a journey back to their Navy days. The two talked for hours about their time in the Navy together and were finally able to catch up on the last 70 years.

Many things have changed in the years since Edward and Mike were on that destroyer.  For most, they’re grateful, but one of the biggest things they are thankful for is that technology made an important reunion happen.

Learning to use a new device can be tricky for anyone. To learn more about helping others operate technology, check out this video.

Who knows what, or who, you can find from a simple search!  Happy searching.

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