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Posted: 6/19/2014 7:14:09 PM EDT
...but it's appropriate to remember those who serve anyway.

What brought this on? My grandfather. He passed away some years ago, now. Back in 1999, in fact. All I ever knew about grandpa growing up was "he was wounded in the war." Thats it. That, and he was hard of hearing.

And he taught me to play cards, almost from the time I could walk. Thats what poor North Dakota farmers did. Play cards with friends. A lot. Cribbage, Canasta, Hearts, Spades, Pionoccle. Grandpa made sure I was an expert at them, and knew how to "trash talk" a bit to boot. In all the years I knew him (I was 28 when he passed), I NEVER saw him angry, upset, or anything else. He ALWAYS had a smile and a laugh and a joke. The worst you ever got was when you were his partner in a card game, and you'd get a funny look and a "Why the HECK did you play that?" Then more smiles and laughs.

I found out more about him on the back of his funeral program. 1999. I remember I had just been to see "Saving Private Ryan." Mom called. Grandpa was sick. Lung cancer. Had been for a while, but had taken a bad turn. I should come visit. I went back. Got to see him, mom and grandma too, tell him I loved him, play more cribbage with him.

Man...its getting dusty in here.

He died a few days after I got back home. I couldn't get more time off, and didn't have money to go back for the funeral. Mom sent me the program. I found out he'd been wounded in the Normandy invasion. Met grandma in the hospital back in the states when recovering.

Why? My uncle found his discharge papers, and some other stuff too. Sent it to my mom. She made some copies, and I got them today.

"Wallenvein, Arthur. PFC. Infantry, K Co., 358th. Date of Inducton, April 3, 1942. Military Occupational Specialty, Automatic Rifleman. Battles and Campaigns, Normandy. Combat Infantry Badge. Purple Heart. ETO Ribbon and 1 Bronze Service Star. Bronze Arrowhead. Good Conduct Medal. Victory Medal. American Theater Ribbon. Wounds Recieved in Action, France, June 12, 1944. Date of Separation, November 21 1945. Place of Separation, Borden GH, Chickasha, OK."

A year and a half recovering in the hospital. I did some research. The 358th wasn't part of the initial landings...the came ashore on June 8th. On the 12th, when grandpa was wounded, they were making a final push against heavy German resistance in the hedgerows at Pont L'Abbe.

Mom also included a copy of a letter grandpa had recieved in January of 1945, while he was recovering in the hospital.

Jan 18, 1945
Cedar Bluff, VA
Dear Mr. Wallenvein
I received your letter yesterday asking for my son Sam H. Lowe's address. And it is with a sad heart I have to send you this message. I had a telegram from the War Department the 6th of July saying Sam was killed in action on June 16th. I have tried to build up my hopes that he was safe somewhere. The last letter I had from him was the 19th and 30th of May.
I would like very much for you to write and tell me the last time you and Sam were together and if you and Sam went overseas together. Just anything you could write and tell me about him. I would appreciate it.
I have your painted picture with your name on the back that Sam gave me. And he said you sure were a fine fellow. And believe me Sam sure was a good boy. And I am so glad that you all were good friends.
I notice your address has Gen Hospital on it. I just wonder if you have been wounded and in the hospital if so. I pray for your speedy recovery.
If you know any of the boys addresses that was with Sam I would like to have them. I might find out more about him.
Yours truly,
Mrs. Minnie Lowe
(Sam's mother)

I never heard Sam Lowe's name before today. Whoever you were, sir, I thank you for being my grandfather's friend. It must have been unimaginably hard to hear of his friend's death 4 days after he was wounded, and while recovering in the hospital. Man...its getting dusty in here. Again.

I'm not really sure why I am sharing this. Why not, I guess? I'm proud to be his grandson. And a little ashamed, actually. I haven't done anything even remotely as important in MY life. MY life is EASY. I work long hours, doing reasonably important work. I'm tired a lot, and have bills to pay, and a ton of other first-world problems. And its EASY. Thanks to grandpa, and all he served with, and all who served in the past, and all who serve today.

Thank you.

If any of you ever find yourself in the Veteran's Cemetery outside of Bismarck, ND, tell my grandpa hello. I am sure he would love to meet you.
Link Posted: 6/19/2014 7:20:46 PM EDT
Thank you for you sharing your grandfathers story.

Link Posted: 6/19/2014 7:44:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2014 7:46:33 PM EDT by hcso617]
Thanks for sharing your Grandfathers story, sounds like he was a fine gentleman and soldier. I'm lucky to have my 89 year old father living with us. Next week I'm taking him to the WWII museum in New Orleans, he has a brick with his name on it there.

Make sure you enter your Grandfather in the WWII registry, it's easy and a great way to keep his memory alive for future generations;

WWII registry
Link Posted: 6/19/2014 8:04:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hcso617:
Thanks for sharing your Grandfathers story, sounds like he was a fine gentleman and soldier. I'm lucky to have my 89 year old father living with us. Next week I'm taking him to the WWII museum in New Orleans, he has a brick with his name on it there.

Make sure you enter your Grandfather in the WWII registry, it's easy and a great way to keep his memory alive for future generations;

WWII registry
View Quote


Thanks for the link!
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