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Topic: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)
Replies: 16   Last Post: Dec 13, 2018 8:45 AM by: 76er®
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The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[43]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 4:39 PM
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The Spirit of Christmas has many meanings but defined in the simplest of terms, it is the caring and sharing that appears to be the innate nature of all mankind. It transcends all religions, non believers, cultures, political persuasions and every conceivable classification we ascribe to mankind. The Spirit of Christmas is not confined to a season or a portion of the year. It manifests itself throughout the year in many ways, some as simple as a smile, a warm welcome, a pat on the back, a word of cheer and yes, sometimes even a shared tear. It can happen without any fore thought and somewimes in a strange and mysterious manner.

I was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and joined Team "C" of the 205th Signal Repair Company in Pyongyang, North Korea, in early November, 1950. The company was composed of five teams, each team assigned to a Division or other Army Unit. Each team had about 35 men but Team "C" had about 20 men, Some of the other teams had lost some men and apparently some men in Team "C" were assigned as replacements to those teams. About the time of my arrival, hordes of Chinese troops crossed the Yalu River into North Korea and there was some fierce battles. About two weeks after my arrival, one of our teams returned from a forward position. We now had about 55 - 60 men in our compound.

Winter had already arrived and temperatures were hovering around Zero F. The men in our motor pool built brackets around the manifold of each truck and we put our "C" rations in these brackets to thaw our food. That was a life saver.

The Chinese Army continued their march south and we made preparations to evacuate. All of our equipment was loaded on the trucks and we awaited orders to evacuate. Having been with the company only a short time, I knew the names of the other men but knew little else about them. We received our orders to evacuate and on the morning of Dec. 1, 1950 we loaded up and left Pyongyang. The Chinese were rapidly approaching the northern outskirts of the city.

Our destination was Seoul, South Korea, about 120 miles by air but much longer by truck. I was assigned to the last truck along with about five other men, all of us seated in the back of the truck and none of whom I knew very well. From appearances and actions I considered our driver a "gruff" person. Also seated in the front seat was "Shotgun Willie", our machine gunner. Dec. 1, 1950, seemed like a heat wave had arrived, the temperature was about 10 F.

We had planned to go in a convoy but that plan was changed. The road had been reduced to rubble by constant bombing, tanks and all sorts of heavy equipment, and every bridge had been destroyed. In addition the roadway was lined with thousands of refugees fleeing south. Most were walking but a few had a wheelbarrow, even fewer had a donkey and cart and some had a small cart pulled by family members. Every male had an "A" frame. These were their worldly possessions. Babies and elderly family memebrs were carried by a family member. Faced with these conditions, and the prospect of driving at a snail's pace, the idea of a convoy was abandoned. There were check points along the way and we were able to have some degree of knowing how far ahead some of our other trucks were.

As we approached the noon hour, our driver said he would try to find a spot where there were only a few refugees. Those of us in the back of the truck were bundled up in an attempt to keep warm so all we were able to see were the things we had passed. Our driver finally pulled off the side of the road and we knew this was our lunch stop. Those of us in the back of the truck jumped out, rewady to get our "C" rations and enjoy a GI feast. Nearby and sitting on the ground were about 10 - 12 refugees. Our driver opened the hood, selected a can of rations, pulled out his trusty little can opener removed the lid, grabbed a spoon and took the can to one of the refugees. Without saying a word, every man repeated this act until all of our food was gone. None of us could speak their language and they could not speak English but words were not necessary. the look on their faces and their gestures indicated their deep gratitude. The look in heir eyes and on their faces are so ingrained in my mind, I can still see it as if it happeded only yesteday.

When we returned to the truck and departed. not one word was said. I even saw a few tears that some of the fellows were trying to hide. My initial thoughts about our "gruff" driver were completely wrong, and when he said,"I wish we had enough food to feed all of them" I knew then I was associated with some super young men.

We finally arrived at the next check point. Two huge garbage cans were located over roaring wood fires. In one can was all sorts of "C" rations and a long handle retriever so we could select our choice. But no one wanted to eat. All we wanted was to stand close to the fire to get warm.

Later that night we arrived at our destination tired, cold and ready to jump into our sleeping bags.


I've thought about that event for many, many years and finally realized that small act was the true Spirit of Christmas and it was initiated by a man who I had labeled as a "gruff" man.


Message was edited by: Joe21®


Message was edited by: Joe21®


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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[8]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 4:51 PM
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There are numerous spelling mistakes in my above post. My computer is giving me a problem. When I attempt to edit, it erases part of the sentence. Please show the true Spirit of Christmas and over look my errors.

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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[2]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 7:30 PM
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I didn’t see a single word misspelled. I read a very heartwarming message to us all.

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Go Tigers! Once A Tiger Always A Tiger


Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[2]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 7:44 PM
    Reply

Full disclosure, I have ZERO faith in internet message board posters, but in this instance, I’m absolutely positive no one will criticize your spelling. Merry Cristmas to you and your’s Joe21, thank you for your service and thanks for the uplifting post!


Why is Sandy cutting onions in the kitchen?

[1]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 11:28 PM
    Reply

Couldn't see for the effect.


Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[3]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 4:53 PM
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Great message Joe21®. In this crazy world we live in now I feel we should all try to remember this! Thanks for your reminder and Merry Christmas!

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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[3]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 4:53 PM
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Joe, yours are the only post that I will never say, TLDR...Merry Christmas!

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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[4]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 4:54 PM
    Reply

Every day can be Christmas if we allow it to happen. That was a different world that you encountered. Or was it?

To many people who I know are consumed with hate for others, their color, their religion, their lifestyle, and many other things. Even their choice of college teams! Christmas Is a good time to rethink some of our feelings.


Aww, Joe. such a wonderful story and reminder to all what

[2]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 7:00 PM
    Reply

human kindness is all about. Those people will never forget y'alls goodness. God Bless.

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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[2]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 7:19 PM
    Reply

Merry CHRISTmas Joe21, you are the definition of a true American hero! America can’t do enough to repay you and your fellow soldiers, both who have lived and who have died.
With the way the world is these days, I bet you sit back sometimes and think to yourself that it was all in vein, but I promise you, there is still good in the world. I could almost guarantee you, that night you and your fellow men changed someone’s life and have continued to do so til this day! Merry Christmas!


Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[2]
Posted: Dec 11, 2018 11:24 PM
    Reply

What a beautiful story Mr. Joe. For all we know, those C rations may have actually saved the lives of some of the refugees as your shared provisions nourished both their bodies and their spirits. Thank you for sharing your lunch with strangers and your experience with all of us!


Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 12, 2018 12:39 AM
    Reply

Joe21 - no one on "hear" really cares about spelling. As others have noted, Merry Christmas to you Sir, and Thank-You for your service and for sharing stories like this one !

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Great story


Posted: Dec 12, 2018 8:58 AM
    Reply

Thanks for sharing.

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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 12, 2018 9:32 AM
    Reply

God Bless

Merry Christmas

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Re: The Spirit of Christmas (Long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 13, 2018 4:23 AM
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Joe21, I do my level best to read every story you bless us with. Please, keep them coming. Merry Christmas!!

2019 white level member

Thank you for sharing that, Mr. Joe.


Posted: Dec 13, 2018 6:16 AM
    Reply

You are truly blessed to have a sharp mind and memory. Merry Christmas!!

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Mr. Joe, no amount of "Thank you for your Service" will ever


Posted: Dec 13, 2018 8:45 AM
    Reply

be enough. But, again, from one of the faceless many on TNet, I do Thank You for Your Service, and for your war stories that are a continual reminder that Freedom is most definitely not free. And, a very Merry Christmas to you and yours, and to all the TNet "family".

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