Joseph (left) and Arthur Ribeiro both served in the U.S. Navy.
Today’s Veteran of the Day is shared by a father and son who are competing together at the 2014 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Joseph Ribeiro served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1945. He drove a Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) also known as a Higgins boat during World War II and made landings during the Battle of Guam and in the Philippines. “I always hit the beaches good and hard so my boys didn’t have to wade through the water much,” he said.
He also was a witness to General McArthur’s famous return to the Philippines, having driven one of the accompanying landing craft. He said, “McArthur said he would return, and he did. That was one of the proudest moments for me of the war.”
Joseph’s son Arthur Ribeiro followed in his father’s footsteps and served in the U.S. Navy from 1967-1969 aboard the USS Shangri-La aircraft carrier.
Joseph, who is visually impaired, became involved with the Blinded Veterans Association eight years ago. The association encouraged him to stay active and suggested he enter the National Veterans Golden Age Games, but Joseph didn’t know in which event he would participate.
He later recalled playing horseshoes with his son and brothers (who served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps in World War II). Joseph was so skilled at ‘pitching the shoes’ they used to put up a blanket in front of the stake to make the game more challenging. He was able to pitch ringer after ringer even when he couldn’t see the target.
This encouraged Joseph that he could still compete. In fact, at the 2013 National Veterans Golden Age Games he took home a gold medal in the horseshoes event.
This is Joseph’s fourth National Veterans Golden Age Games and Arthur’s second.
Thank you both for your service and good luck in the Games!