2022 LV County Veterans Day Parade
PARADE GRAND MARSHAL
Wilbur Grisham – retired Tech Sgt – US Army
Wilbur Grisham graduated from Basehor High School in May 1941, and with no further farming to do and seeing the draft looming in the distance,
he enlisted July 1941 in the US Army as a medical technician. He was trained as a first respondent for 250 men. He conducted his training at a
250-bed mobile Army Station Hospital, Camp Hulen, TX near Galveston, Texas. It was at this station Grisham heard of the Dec. 7
Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor.
On Dec 8, 1941, Grisham was on a ship bound for the Philippines. Word came of a raid on the ship ahead, and Grisham’s ship turned around,
pulling in at the Hawaiian Island of Maui. He began serving in the 22nd Field Hospital on March 4, 1942. The Hawaii hospital was increased
from 250 beds to 750. During his time in Hawaii, Grisham tended to injured comrades, three of whom he recognized as being from his hometown.
He oversaw admitting and discharging each patient, a task he said was both rewarding and agonizing. The sight of some of the soldiers coming
gave him nightmares, and the sight of them leaving made him ache for home. Wilbur was discharged on Aug 16, 1945, serving 4 years and 16 days.
Grisham and his company were awarded a medal for their commitment and heroism caring for wounded WWII soldiers in Hawaii. His homecoming finally came in May 1945. Life at home was not as easy and happy as Grisham envisioned when he was putting all those men on airplanes in Hawaii. After several months of being unable to find a job, he was hired to work for the Veterans Administration in Kansas City, MO. He later spent 16 years as a rural postal carrier for the Basehor Post office. This was followed by 20 years driving a school bus in the Basehor-Linwood School District. He is also a charter member of the Fairmount Fire Department.
In 1945, Wilbur married his high school love, Betty, with whom he’d corresponded during the war. They first lived in an apartment in Bonner Springs. In 1948, they purchased their current home in Basehor where he and his wife raised their two sons Paul and Gene, both of whom served our country in Vietnam. Grisham and his sons are not the only members of his family who have served our country. His father is recognized as the 1st veteran of Foreign Wars from Basehor. (He fought in the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines.) His three brothers also served during World War II. One brother was in the 79th Division and landed at Normandy on D-Day. Another served in the Air Force 20th Division in Saipan. The third brother served in the Navy aboard the USS McCracken.
Now retired, he is a lifetime member Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10499. Grisham looks back on his days in World War II and considers them insignificant in comparison to those of other men who fought in that war. Grisham shows his patriotism by staying active in the VFW and helping military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan however he can. Wilbur was privileged to be chosen to go on an Honor Flight to DC.
Per Grisham, “Patriotism means everything to him. Supporting our troops, supporting our country, that’s everything to him.”