Today’s Veteran of the Day is Carmen Schiavoni. Carmen served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942-1945.

After finding out that he was to be drafted he said, “To hell with that, I’m going to go where I want.” Carmen heard that in the U.S. Army Air Corps he only had to fly 25 missions and would then be discharged, so, “That was for me,” he said.

Carmen Schiavoni (far left) with his B-17 crew.

Carmen Schiavoni (far left) with his B-17 crew.

Carmen was a B-17 crewman serving at different times as an aerial engineer, gunner and bombardier. Due to a shortage of crewmen, the U.S. Army Air Corps changed the mission quota to 30. Carmen flew his 29th mission on June 4, 1944, two days before D-Day. Soon after returning from the flight, Carmen realized he could not sleep due to the anticipation of his 30th mission. He volunteered to go back out on an afternoon mission and completed his final mission that same day. Carmen received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during World War II.

His post-war career in aerospace drew him to settle in the Los Angeles, California area. He first received care from VA in 1978 at the Long Beach, California VA Medical Center and soon began using the gym and facilities regularly.

Veterans Participate in the 28th Annual National Veterans Golden Age GamesCarmen has been a participant in the National Veteran Golden Age games since 2003. He first competed in cycling, later croquet and this is his second year in the table tennis event.

His message to Veterans and future service members is, “Go to the VA and find out what is going on. I didn’t know the VA was for all Veterans and I missed out.”

Thank you for your service, Carmen and good luck in the games!

 

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Published on Jun. 30, 2014

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