For the last few days, FreedomWire has been sharing excerpts from the wartime journal of Michael Sturey, a heroic veteran who served his country during World War II (to read the full series, CLICK HERE). Now, we’d like to take a moment to tell you more about the man himself.

Photo of Michael Sturey, taken in Boston, Massachusetts, in August 1941

The Story Of An American Hero

Michael Sturey was born on March 17th, 1916, in Johnstown, PA.

In total, he had 10 brothers and sisters. Of the seven boys, five went on to serve in the war: three Army, one Navy, and one Marine. (All survived the war and would go on to throw one hell of a family reunion every year.)

Michael moved to Brooklyn at age 17, in order to find work to support his family back home. It was the height of the Great Depression, and work was not easy to come by, but Michael was determined.

He eventually found a job working at an Automat – selling sandwiches on a wheel in Manhattan.

While in Manhattan, he met and began dating one of the sisters of Jack Dempsey (Heavy Weight Boxing Champ of the World). Their relationship, although short, led to a significant development in Michael’s life.

His current girlfriend’s roommate, a beautiful young woman named Theresa, immediately captured his attention. After his previous relationship ended, he and Theresa began dating.

Michael and Theresa

A short time later, the Second World War broke out and, in 1944, Michael was deployed to Europe. He served in an Army artillery unit, bombarding enemy positions and covering the movements of the accompanying infantry.

Michael and his fellow artillerymen

All throughout his deployment, Michael kept a journal, in which he recorded his thoughts, as well as photographs of himself and his fellow soldiers. (Transcripts of this journal are provided in FreedomWire’s series Through the Eyes of a Hero. Photos provided below.)

In late 1945, when the war in the European Theater ended, Michael returned home. Soon after, he and Theresa got married and started a family, having two daughters in the following years.

He began working at a parking garage, learning the business well enough to eventually buy his own at the intersection 11 Street and 8th Avenue Brooklyn.

It was the best place for the NY Mets to park their cars, and the business quickly became very profitable. Michael even became friends with baseball legend Casey Stengel during this time.

By the late 70s, the business was booming, and Michael made the decision to sell the garage and retire with the profits (which he would later say was the dumbest decision he ever made! The booming 80s came only a few years later, and it more than tripled the garage’s value).

Regardless, Michael enjoyed retired life and got to see his family grow, and he remained a strong patriot for the remainder of his life.

He died years later in 1987, with the love of his life Theresa, two daughters, and eight grandkids by his side.

Even to this day, he serves as a touching example of a life well-lived, and we honor and commemorate him for his service to his family and his country.

Below are some of the additional pictures that Michael took during his time in the military, as well as the accompanying journal entries.

“In Virginia at Mt. Vernon. Left to Right: Shaw, Myself, Bernstein, and Smith. Sept. 1941”

“instrument Section. Left to Right: Myself, Skill, D______, Spinoso, and McCloskey. Taken while on maneuvers in N.C. Nov. 1941

“Michael Sturey in Virginia at Mt. Vernon. Sept. 1941”

 

Read the full series HERE

Through the Eyes of a Hero

Part I: Thoughts on England

Part II: The Journey to the Front

Part III: Pursuing the Enemy

Part IV: Capturing Towns

Part V: Military Occupation

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