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Help "Ike" Get Back To Pearl Harbor Commemoration

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Dear friends and supporters,

I'm reaching out to you with a heartfelt request to make a special honor happen for my father, Ira Schab, Jr. (You can call him "Ike" or "Pop"). As we approach the 82nd Anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, I am seeking assistance to bring my 103 year old father back to where he served on the USS Dobbin. Pop's journey is one of resilience, sacrifice, and a deep commitment to service.

Ike joined the U.S. Navy in 1939. Jobs continued to be scarce as the effects of the Great Depression continued. Ike's father (a WWI vet) suggested the Navy and that Pop audition for the band. He aced it. Dad then spent two years in Navy Music School where he excelled at Music Theory and graduated as a Musician 2nd Class (Petty Officer equiv).  Assigned to the USS Raleigh, Ike was underway and at Pearl soon enough to enjoy Christmas 1940 in Waikiki. 

When their Admiral was in port at Pearl, they were lodged on the USS Dobbin. When Pop was first stationed in Hawaii in 1940, neither he nor his fellow sailors could have imagined had any idea they would be participants in history.

Pop was 21 on that December morning and had just dressed in his whites awaiting his little brother Allen who was only 18. Allen Schab was a radio specialist as a sailor and was at the radio station at Wahiawa and was coming to meet his big brother so Pop could show him the sights. Dad had just sat down to a cup of coffee when the attack began. Pop headed to the deck to see what was going on and to get orders. He was sent to man a brigade passing ammunition to the guns. 

The Dobbin was moored not far from the USS Arizona that morning, and after helping to load boxes of heavy ammunition (weighing about 250lbs a lot for a 130 lb skinny kid!) up through a ship’s hatch, Pop witnessed as the second stack on the USS Arizona blow. As the attack ended it was rescue, after rescue, through fuel, and oil and smoke. Their world and ours changed overnight.

My father has always lived a life of service. After leaving the Navy in 1948 he eventually went back to school on the GI Bill majoring in Electrical Engineering. He helped start a fraternity, Delta Signa Phi at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. It was the first fraternity to be recognized at Cal Poly San Luis.

Pop was also member of numerous service groups over the years ; including The Elks and American Legion. Especially those organizations that allowed a social bond of brotherhood as the Navy did. In "retirement", he cofounded a charity that brought music into schools with performances and lessons, and became a park docent for Monarch Butterflies.

Pop left college early (by a couple of classes) because his GI Bill ran out. He worked at KGO in San Francisco as an Electrical Engineer, then General Dynamics (Convair) offered (and continued to offer for a long time) a non degreed engineer pathway. Mom was pregnant with twins at this point and had been fired from BofA (ah, the 50s) and he took it. His work offered him the opportunity to be a significant contributor to the telemetry for the Apollo missions that got humans to the moon (and back while on a ship in the Indian Ocean!). That is his proudest achievement. Other than us of course. 

Ike's journey is both ordinary and extraordinary. Lately, Pop is a little slower in a lot of ways, which he finds frustrating but, he loves his weekly (when we don't forget!) Zoom Cocktails with his fraternity brothers. They are all under 103 years old, and they love him enough to appreciate his presence even if he falls asleep occasionally.

Last year, with the incredible support of his Delta Sigma Phi brothers, we were able to bring my father back to Pearl Harbor again. It was a journey filled with poignant moments, shared service stories, and this has been such a wonderful reunion with his fraternity. Ike’s legacy of service lives on as a new class of young Delta Sigma Phi Brothers returns to Cal Poly this year!  

In 2021, for the 80th Anniversary, we launched a GoFundMe campaign that went viral. The response was overwhelming, as people from all over the country shared incredible stories of their family members who served during World War II. It also got us in contact with long lost family and because of stories in the news then, the fraternity which has been wonderful for a very social Ike. The outpouring of support not only funded our trip but created a beautiful tapestry of shared history and remembrance. 

Now, as Pop ages, he faces physical challenges (he is 103!), and yet is determined to be there this year. Pop has said before that he feels that he needs to be there and stand for those who cannot. So some of his friends and family are seeking your support once again. He requires two caregivers and a dedicated entourage to ensure his safety and enjoyment during our 10-day stay in Hawaii. Due to recent injuries, I am unable to assist with the physical aspects, making it necessary for us to cover the costs of additional caregivers and logistical arrangements. Your generous donations (and all are generous) will contribute to covering the expenses for caregivers, transportation, accommodations, and accessibility needs. We want to make this trip the most memorable, ensuring Ike can relish the beauty of Pearl Harbor and participate in the events and a few special activities that will bring him joy (with water wheelchair he'll get to go into the Pacific again!). In return for your support, we want to share this incredible journey with you through photos and recordings, allowing you to be a part of the experience. 

Thank you for considering supporting our mission and being a part of this effort to honor my father's legacy. Your kindness means the world to us.

With gratitude, 

Kimberlee H. Daughter of Ira "Ike" "Pop" Schab, Jr

Fundraising team: Ike 2 Pearl (2)

Kimberlee Heinrichs
Beaverton, OR
Christine Mooney
Team member

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