Every war veteran experiences ordeals the average American may never hear about. But not every war veteran has a chance to share his stories with the world. For Conrad “Connie” Bauer, his chance came after filing an asbestos lawsuit through Simmons Hanly Conroy. Connie’s stories have since been shared through local news sources including The Intelligencer.
In Connie’s deposition, he shared several telling stories about his time in the military during World War II. His military career began on April 14, 1944 when he signed up for the Marines at the age of 16 with parental permission. By 17, Connie found himself in the middle of one of the most infamous WWII invasions – the Battle of Iwo Jima.
During the battle, Connie was a Private – in charge of the group of 20 men – yet was the youngest of the men in his detail. He and his group, which was part of the 5th division of the 28th Marine Regiment, served as stretcher-bearers – they were in charge of carrying dying, wounded soldiers to safety, away from the front lines.
Altogether, Connie’s group rescued at least 200 men. One night alone, they saved 44 soldiers.
Connie also saved the lives of his troop. One day while burying Japanese soldiers, he noticed a suspicious box sitting near one of the dead bodies. That box later turned out to be a bomb.
He also captured the highest-ranking Japanese soldier (a Major) on the island of Iwo Jima.
Overcoming obstacles didn’t end when Connie returned from the war. After being exposed to asbestos at his post-military career as an industrial electrician in the Metro East, Connie was diagnosed with asbestosis. It was because of this exposure and diagnosis that Connie came to Simmons Hanly Conroy and could share his stories at his deposition.
“It was tough,” Connie said in the Intelligencer article mentioned above. “I didn’t talk about this stuff until about 15 years ago. For all those years, I didn’t say nothing to nobody about nothing.”
Despite all of this adversity, Connie has not given up. He turned 92 on November 2, and has hopes to make it to age 100.
Like many of our veterans, Connie is a true American hero. What he did during the war and his time in the military, and what he shares with us today, is an inspiration to all Americans – a message of selflessness, courage and hope.
From all of us at Simmons Hanly Conroy, thank you, Veterans.
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