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Topic: As y'all know, my favorite veteran isn't with us now...
Replies: 5   Last Post: Nov 12, 2016, 4:40 PM by: 71PR
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As y'all know, my favorite veteran isn't with us now...

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Posted: Nov 11, 2016, 12:41 PM
 

... to be properly thanked today. But with y'alls permission (heck or without it) I'd like to share something I wrote about him, dang, quite a few years ago.

Still proud of you, Daddy....

======

She had always wondered about the scar .

It was a small spot, about the size of a nickle, with two little ridges running up toward the shoulder. To her, it looked like Mickey Mouse with deflated ears, cockeyed and tilted.

The little girl could feel it, a rising ridge worn smooth by time and work, when her granddaddy carried her to bed after a long day. But she never asked him about it.

And he never talked about it.

So it remained a mystery, one of the few between a doting grandpa and his youngest grandchild.

Until she could no longer contain her curiosity. The conversation went something like:

“Grandpa, how did you get that scar?”

“Which scar? I’ve got plenty of them.”

“It’s round with wrinkly ears, and it sits under your shoulder.”

“Ohhhhh....that one. That was a souvenir from a trip to Europe when I was in the Army.”

“You mean like a tattoo?”

The old man chuckled. “I guess you could say that. A girl named Betty gave it to me.”

The old man began to speak of a time the girl had only seen from snatches of old movies. It was a time when old men were young ... though many young men never got a chance to be old. A time of biting cold, snarly spitting of rifles and prayers that puffed out in steamy clouds and curses that cut the morning fog.

That morning, a wrong step, perhaps a tired boot or a tired eye straying for war-time souvenirs amid the carnage. A mine, a “Bouncing Betty” sprung into action, ripping into the line of young men with lethal abandon.

The old man, then young, grabbed one of the injured, a lieutenant, and slung the man over his broad shoulders. He tiptoed the man out of danger and to medical help.

The medic took the injured man, then told his savior to sit down. No way, he said -- he had to get back to his platoon.

“Not with that in your shoulder,” the medic replied.

“With what?”

“With that chunk of shrapnel.”

He still feels it, especially when the weather turns cold. That’s the only time, he told the girl, that he thinks of that day.

The lieutenant survived as well. Put the old man in for a Bronze Star. He has a Purple Heart on his license plate, too. Not for pride, he says, but just in case the Highway Patrol catches him advancing a little too zealously, they might give him a break.

And he doesn’t dwell on the war. Life has given us all plenty of battles. He doesn’t talk about the war, about the young men who never grew old, unless you ask him.

I know the story because I asked him many years ago. Not too long ago, I thanked him for what he did. He snorted and said it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The little girl did the same, reaching up and hugging the old man. Her slender fingers touched the scar .

It didn’t hurt him at all.

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Bless them all. Greatest generation!!!

[2]
Posted: Nov 11, 2016, 1:46 PM
 

Bless them all, truly the "greatest generation". Wish some of the snowflakes today would pay more attention to who made all this available to them.


Re: As y'all know, my favorite veteran isn't with us now...


Posted: Nov 12, 2016, 10:42 AM
 

I believe that the men and women who can't curb their ambitions to rule something, or to take something that isn't theirs, tending to someone's business that really isn't none of their own. If those men and women could be put in one of those virtual reality gizmos where they could walk every step of a war of a survivor that had been in some of the bloodiest battles with uncountable numbers of very young men and women where their bodies were so blown to pieces that they didn't know what parts went to what body. If they saw and smelled all of this waste of human life through virtual reality. If those men and women that gives the order of war could actually see what our men and women saw through their eyes and smelled the smells of death through virtual reality for one week non stop, would they be so quick to give those orders to engage in that type of human carnage before "every means" of avoiding war had been used without any other way out.

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Reported for abuse...

[1]
Posted: Nov 12, 2016, 12:28 PM
 

my eyes watered up. Great story Rev.

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Thanks Rev. Dodd, interviewing old vets have been a blessing


Posted: Nov 12, 2016, 1:25 PM
 

to me. One of my favorites is of a WW2 vet, who the new movie HACKSAW RIDGE could be about. Pfc. Finney, now living in a VA Nursing home, was a medic in Okinawa also. (This is where my Father was a platoon Sgt in the Marines but would never talk about it.) Anyway, PFC Finney has the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but unlike the medic in the movie, he carried a gun. He told me he would use it to protects his brothers in arms, but was too busy patching them up. He was shot by a sniper crawling from foxhole to foxhole, and wonders how any medic could get out of combat without getting injured.
Another fav. WW2 story is from Sgt. Tom in nearbye Gray Court. He is a delightful 97 y.o. who is probably the last survivor of the HOGAN'S HEROS. This comedy series was based on lots of truth. Sgt. Tom was a hero there saving another crewmember when their B24 was downed. He put the parachute on him and pushed him out the plane, telling him to pull the rip cord when he couldn't hear the engine anymore. As soon as they hit the ground, he climbed a tree, as the wounded crew was bleeding badly. The Nazi captors took them to Stalag 17, and the injured crew ended up in the same baracks after a month in hospital. Sgt. Tom became known as Pappy because he was all of 22 years old. Sgt. Shultz and most of guards were not fit for combat, and were POWs fairly well until the Gestapo came around to inspect. Anyway, Pappy ended up being a leader in that barracks, and the tunnel digger wrote a book about it called THE FLAMEKEEPERS.
As the war winded down, the guards marched the POWs 280 miles so they could be captured by American forces instead of Russians. When they arrived, the guards smartly handed their guns over to the Pows and became the pows, therefore being treated much better than most Germans. Sgt Tom became a very successful man in Gray Court, and the man whose life he saved stopped by to visit him every time he traveled to Florida, giving Sgt. Tom much gratitude for enabling him to have a great life!
Now, with over 50 interviews, I will be publishing a doc called IN THEIR OWN WORDS, THE WISDOM OF ELDER VETERANs hopefully before Christmas.

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Rev., my favorite veteran isn't with us now either.


Posted: Nov 12, 2016, 4:40 PM
 

Dad passed eight years ago. Miss him every day. When I watch WW2 documentaries or footage, I hope to see a glimpse of him in the Africa/Sicily/Great Britian/Europe films. There was so much footage shot and so much never used, you'd never know if someone might appear.
My prayers are with you. I know Dad and Mom would be delighted to have your Dad sitting beside them watching today's game.

Regards,
Ron W

71PR


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