As you know, C.A. Lloyd, Chairman of the USN Armed Guard World War II Veterans Association, had a heart attack back in December 2013. C.A. has been the Chairman of the veterans association for many years. He faithfully publishes "The Pointer" that you have seen if you are a member of the Association; electronic copies of The Pointer are also posted on the Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website.
C.A. was out of commission for many weeks after his heart attack but now he's back at his usual post, preparing another Pointer, corresponding with his many friends and answering questions as best he can. Like other Armed Guard veterans, C.A. is getting up in years but he is determined to keep going as long as he is able.
Today he sent me an advance copy of a long and heart-felt message that he intends to include in the next Pointer. Since this message board reaches some who may not see The Pointer, I hope C.A. will not be dismayed if I share his message more widely. No, C.A. isn't stepping away but his heart attack gave him a new perspective. Here's his message:
"4/1/14 Dear everyone,
"I thought everyone should know how fortunate I am to be finally getting another POINTER out to you. I have contacted many since I got back in service and come to find out, about 2/3 had experienced the same health problem or worse and our Maker has blessed us with a few more days, months, years. Hilda [C.A.'s wife] had a four-way bypass at the New Orleans reunion and is also very blessed. I never thought of eternal rest until this happened. I want to tell all of you while I can, when I go, there is no one to take over. You wouldn't be getting another POINTER nor answers to your questions. So what am I to do? I dated this April 1 because it is my birthday. At 88 and like you slowing down, and if and when I have to shut down, the mailing address and telephone will be shut down also. Any donations after that date will be deposited in the bank and the bank account and address will be kept open five months from that date. My printer is to send out a few pages to all on the mailing list and that expense will be paid from the account. I hope you and I will be here many more moons and if and when it's over, it's over. Below is what I have narrated my episode:
"My heart attack: Dec. 14, 2013, I had a little hurting and I took a Tums, but no relief so Hilda was going to take me to the emergency room and as we go two blocks to [route] #401, I told her to turn right and let's go to the Rolesville EMS which is about three more blocks. They were not in so we went next door to the fire station and they checked me out, didn't like what they saw, and called EMS to return to station at once. "Heart attack patient" and gave me more aspirin. They were close by and they ran an EKG and said, "Mr. Lloyd, you are having a heart attack NOW. We got to GO!" And we did. They put me on the stretcher, into the EMS truck, gave me another pill and put me on oxygen and broke all speed limits to Wake Forest Medical Center in Raleigh. By the time the motor cut off and the driver's door slammed, the driver was opening the back door, pulled me out and the two ran me to the operating room with about eight people around the operating table, and put me on the operating table. The doctor said, "I am Dr. Go and I know what I am doing." I said, "I hope you do," and by that time, they had cut my wrist and in the groin and were inserting two stents as I watched it on the screen. EMS had sent them the EKG photos and they knew what to do way before we arrived. Five days in the hospital and home 12/19/13. I have been improving daily. I was very lucky and things worked in my favor. I have some heart damage but improving. The computer was upstairs and I was not allowed to come up until about the Jan. 12th and it helps settle the nerves. Enough about me.
"I want to thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement who had heard about it through the grapevine. I hope to send [The Pointer] out for a couple of more years at least. If not, I hope we meet Him in that House, that House not built with human hands, Eternal in the heavens, for only He knows our future. cal"
It is C.A., like Tom Bowerman, who has kept the story of the Navy Armed Guard alive so that our veterans can gather together, figuratively if no longer literally, and their families can learn about the role they played in wartime. I hope you will all take the opportunity to thank C.A. for his long service, during the war and since, before he's gone. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless C.A. and all of the other Armed Guard, both those who are living and those who have passed.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website