Norman “Norm” Meissner a 94-year old World War II Veteran of the Army Air Corp, has found a new passion in life by putting together craft kits at the Help Hospitalized Veterans location in Tampa, Florida.
Norm served our country from March 1943 – March 1946 in both Agra, India and in China. While defending our great nation, he saw many wonders of our world. Norm vividly recalls visiting the Taj Mahal in India and the endless B-29’s “Flying Super Fortresses” in China. Norm said. “…that endless numbers of B-29’s went back and forth bombing Japan. As a Control Tower Operator, we also saw a number of B-38’s, also known as Forked Tailed Devils”.
Norm is also an avid hobbyist and had enjoyed photography and woodworking for decades. During the war he recalled having to wait until three a.m. to develop film from his camera “….because that was the only time it was ever cool enough in India to develop film.” He has always had a passion for doing things with his hands. Norm even recalls as a little boy, “My grandfather was an immigrant from Germany and had brought woodworking tools with him. And as a young boy we would do a lot of woodworking. I had a woodworking shop until a few years ago.”
Unfortunately, Norm has lost over 80% of his vision and his hobbies have slowly slipped away. But, the passion came back into this veteran’s life when he discovered, Help Hospitalized Veterans – Therapeutic Arts and Craft program for veterans. Using his sense of touch, Norm can feel the parts and put them in their proper places. On a recent visit to HHV’s facility in Tampa, Norm noted. “These kits give me something to look forward to each day.”