Hometown Heroes: All in the Family

Hometown Heroes

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The end of World War II was 75 years ago this year and many veterans of that war have long passed.

Our very own Jack Kessler shares the story of his great grandfather and the unique snapshots he was able to capture of wartime.


A hero is someone driven to make a difference and a person who is admired or idealized for courage.

A veteran is a hero that answered the call of duty, without expecting anything in return.

My great grandfather Sgt. Jack D. Harris helped liberate France during World War II and it was not too long ago that history was recovered.

As my grandfather served his time in the United States Army from 1941 to 1944, he also had a camera handy to capture moments from his time in training to his time in France.

During his time in France, my grandfather was wounded in the battle of Saint-Lô after being caught in barbed wire and shot while hung up. He was sent to a hospital in England and was awarded the Purple Heart.

My grandfather wasn’t the only one who helped with the war effort, my great grandmother, Bonnie Dell Harris, joined the workforce and worked in the shipyards in the Northwest part of the United States.

My father, Dale Kessler, and I were never able to meet my great-grandfather as he passed away at the age of 47 in 1967, but my dad said it fills his heart with pride hearing and seeing what his grandparents did.

Jack and Bonnie Dell Harris, circa 1960s

“I think it’s a great honor they actually served this country, whether it was overseas or fighting in the war or helping with the war by working in the shipyards, over in Seattle. It’s a great honor to me to know that they were both a part of it,” said Kessler.

Through these relics, my dad said he feels closer to our grandfather and has formed a special bond.

“Once again, I didn’t know a whole lot about him because he already passed away before I was ever born. So, to see all of that and to learn about it and see it and experience it myself, brings me a lot closer to him,” said Kessler.

Watch the video above for even more details on this story, told by Jack Kessler.


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