“Love this country, Serve this country, Give your life for this country if you have to, and defend this country, and you start by Defending our country on your knees every night.” Those were the words that John Vander Plaats told his son Bob and his grandson Hans a few years ago when they recorded his account of his experience in World War II. John Vander Plaats passed away last night at the age of 74.
Vander Plaats released the following statement about the passing of his father.
Many of you have heard me talk about my Dad. He is a hero to me. He lost both of his parents and one of his brothers due to a tragic car crash when he was 13 years old.
He served his country as a member of the US Navy in WWII. He was trained in amphibeous landings. He participated in the invasion of Iwa Jima. He was honored by Sheldon High School as an honorary high school graduate in the year 2000 at age 74.
When he returned home from the war, he served his Church, his spouse, his children, his community, and his country. As a parent he had the most difficult task of burying three of his eight children. Barbie passed away at age 6 on Christmas day due to complications of a rare kidney disease. Bradley was stillborn at birth. And Harlan passed away at age 21 as a result of injuries incurred in a car crash.
At 8:41 last evening, April 6, my Dad joined his parents, his three children, and many of his WWII peers in the Heavenly Hosts.
Best of all, he has met his Savior face to face and cheek to cheek and every tear has been wiped away.
I can only imagine his singing, his laughing, and his feasting at the Lord’s table. One of his favorite hymns is, “By The Sea of Chrystal.” Today, I am confident he is walking streets of gold by that Chrystal Sea.
Our mourning of a great loss of a great man is lightened by knowing where he is. Thank you for your prayers during this time.
Please keep Bob and his family in your prayers.
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