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Posted: 12/31/2002 2:13:35 PM EDT
There's been a white Ford Ranger truck parked next to my wife's car with a guest pass hanging on the rearview mirror. In the rear window was a fish with "JESUS" in it, a Disabled American Veteran sticker, and several other military/patriotic stickers. I've wanted to meet whomever owned the truck, but never saw them outside...until tonight.

I was cleaning out my truck while my wife played with my son behind the next appartment building. After I finnished cleaning I went to look for my wife and son. Lo and behold there he was! A fairly unassuming old man with white hair, a few random white hairs poking out about his face, a DAV hat and a well worn belt buckle. I walked past him looking for Erica, but said "Good evening sir", which brought a smile and a similar reply. About this time Erica and my son came walking across the parking lot and I could tell Jonathan was looking at the old man.

I heard Jonathan say something (he'll be 2 in March) and looked ove to the man. We started talking and it turns out that this man is a hero (But he'll never admit it!). I mentioned being in the Army and I saw a smile flash across his, but just for a second. He's a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam! Went overseas @ 19, in combat @ 20, & on the front lines @ 21. He said after 6 major battles he though better of pounding ground and went in the Air Force! He was in 3ID, sorry I can't remember the others he mentioned. I happened to have a bag of pictures from Korea in the stuff I'd taken out of my truck so I handed them to him and asked if it looked familiar. "Oh yes...(lost in a moment of thought) it sure does. We had a great time talking although it only laste 10 or 15 minutes. My son even jumped out of my wife's arms to him! There's a bond between little kids(babies) and old people I swear. I've seen it over and over with the children and older people in my family (all deceased now). There's a whole conversation in just one look.

Back to the hero. There were a few pictures of me in a slightly inebriated state and a few pics of me with a beer in my hand. "I drank a lot while I was over there, but I don't do it too much now" as I nodded towards my family. Humble as always he replied, I gave it up to...joined the Army of the LORD. "All my medals hang in the office of the chief of police now". We said our good byes and left.

I can't tell you how humbling of an experience it was, he's just a guy right? Maybee so, but he's a HERO to me.

BTW  he'll be 83 Feb. 19th.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 2:19:58 PM EDT
Good story, we are losing our heroes at a very fast rate and any opportunity to talk to one is time well spent.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 2:20:05 PM EDT
All Vets are Heroes!

Thank you Heroes!

Thanks Pony_Driver

Happy New Year to all!!!

Link Posted: 12/31/2002 2:47:13 PM EDT
Back few years ago when my great grandfather was still around, we used to get stories about WW I, not two, but WWI.  He didn't talk about it much until a year before he died.  They wouldn't let him fight, but he was overseas and it was his job to help dig and clear the trenches before and after battles and collect the usefull stuff.  Some of the stuff he told me made me feel ill just hearing about it, let alone actually doing it.  He brought his old photo album out, and there were some amazing pictures and stories to go with them.  I miss that man.  He lived in three differet centeries.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:08:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:15:11 PM EDT
I was elected to a vaguely important position at my church and have a staff of helpers, mostly retired.

One guy was wearing a DFC mini on his lapel so I asked about it and found out he got it in WWII (back when they were really hard to get). Then it turns out another one of the guys got the silver star in 3rd Army.

These guys came back and put buildings up or got a job at the plant and sent their kids to college after whipping the whole world's ass.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:18:16 PM EDT
God bless all our Vets. They are all hero's in my book.

Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:40:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:41:21 PM EDT
I know one.  He was in the 101st and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He claims to be the 3rd or 4th guy to ever jump out of a plane as a para-trooper. Growing up I enjoyed mowing his grass, shoveling his driveway and fixing up his 1960 Thunderbird.

He tells stories of being shot and having drunk Dr.s operate on him.

He is my hero and I don't think I could ever thank him enough.
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