‘World War II was a war we had to win’: Veteran reflects on his service for Memorial Day

Published: May. 29, 2023 at 6:06 PM CDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 10:19 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Memorial Day is a day for honoring and remembering those who served, and one World War II veteran is doing just that.

While some take this holiday weekend to go on vacation or a day off of work, others spend it reflecting on why we have this day in the first place.

Almost 97-year-old Silas Teague is one of the few World War II veterans who is living today. He uses this weekend to spend time with his family, reflect on his time in the war, and honor others who served.

Teague was a first-class Seaman in the Navy during World War II. He had many jobs like working on deck crew, boat operations, and ship secretary.

While he never saw an enemy submarine while out in the waters, he remembers what it was like on his first trip from Pearl Harbor to Guam.

“Ship sank 12 hours in front of us and one 8 hours behind us and another one somewhere in between that, and they radioed us to be on the lookout for survivors,” says Teague.

Teague adds once they arrived in Guam the ship he was on was carrying a LCT landing craft tank that carried four tanks and 250 men to shore.

Almost 79 years ago in the Texas Panhandle. Silas Teague decided he was going to volunteer to fight for our freedom.

“Well, World War II was a war we had to win,” explains Teague.

When Silas was 18 years old he was in Lubbock and went to the recruiting office to volunteer.

“I just figured it was part of my duty to volunteer. So but I could have went to work for the railroad and I could have been exempt but I chose not to because I wanted to go into service and do my part,” says Teague.

His children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren flew into Amarillo to see him for memorial day. They say not only was he a good soldier, but he is an even better grandpa.

“We like to play together and have fun,” says five-year-old Jefferson Teague, Silas Teague’s great-grandchild.

“He served in our country and is very thoughtful,” says twelve-year-old Tyler Hardcastle, Silas Teague’s grandchild.

In the past, Teague served as commander of the DAV and would visit with other veterans. Now, he says, there aren’t many World War II veterans left, so he likes to spend the holiday in Silverton where his wife is buried, and use the holiday as an excuse for a family reunion.

“It’s always an exciting time for me. I just love it,” says Teague.

Teague served from October 6th, 1944 to May 23rd, 1946.