My hubby served in the Army National Guard for six years the first few years we were married. Yesterday we were eating at the best barbecue place in Georgia and a gentleman came in wearing a Vietnam Veteran's hat. My dear hubby got up and went over to him to thank him for going to Vietnam in his place. The gentleman was so stunned he was speechless. He did manage to utter a thank you.
I want to honor my dad here today. He served in the Army during World War II in Europe. He fought across France, Belgium and Germany. He was in that horrible Battle of the Bulge and was wounded twice. The last time he was wounded was after the war had ended when he stepped on a land mind. He was issued one of the last Purple Hearts during the conflict in Europe. My Mom says it was the LAST Purple Heart issued, but I can't document that statement.
I was shopping one day and found a book, "US Forces in Europe" by Ian Westwell and Steven Smith. Anything about WWII, especially Europe, always sparks my interest, so I picked it up. I opened the book and there at the beginning of the book was a double page photo of soldiers. The descriptions reads, "Previous Page: Armour--M10 tank destroyers and M4 Shermans--and infantry--men of the 'Big Red One' await the order to advance. The date is 1 March 1945 and US troops are deep in Germany. US Army via Real War Photos."
There stood my Daddy. I'm positive the fourth man from the left is my Dad. My brother thinks it our Dad as well. Unfortunately, our Mom has lost her vision and can't see the photo. My brother saw him in a documentary on the History Channel one day.
My brother told me one day, that our Dad marched a hundred miles in three days across Europe and THEN had to fight a battle. We don't realize what hardship and sacrifice these veterans of World War II did for our country. They surely are the greatest generation and I will forever be grateful to all of them for what they were willing to do to keep us free.
This last photograph includes a photo my Dad (standing alone with his arms crossed) sent to my Mom with a handwritten note on the back that reads, "Limback Germany June 1945" next to the photo in the book.