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Posted: 6/20/2003 6:44:15 AM EDT
I need to get out and meet my neighbors more often. A few years ago I spoke to a enighbor who was a WWII vet. He was in 3rd Army HQ in the map detachment and had been around Patton. He best Patton story was about the time Patton popped into the map room and told them he wanted a map of every shithouse in France, because when he got to France he knew all the Germans would be found in the shithouses. Another neighbor I spoke to the other day was an RAF veteran. He was a navigator/bombadier in two-engine bombers (Halifaxes I think) and flew two tours over Europe and then transferred to B-24s in the China-Burma-India theatre. My only complaint with this guy is that he lives with his daughter who has a million-mom march sticker on her car. [:(] I thank these vets for their service and they seem to appreciate the thanks. GunLvr
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 6:54:34 AM EDT
One of the places I like to go hiking out in the mountains has an old decrepit bar that's run by a WW2 vet. He was an mechanic in the airforce in the Pacific Theater. Behind the bar he keeps a shoebox full of old photos of airplanes he worked on, the airbases, and so forth. The guy is almost 80 years old and a couple years ago he took a motorcycle trip from Houston, TX to Western New York. These people are an important part of our history and I regret to see them passing on. -Nick Viejo.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 7:29:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 2:43:24 PM EDT
I've met some interesting vets as well. The first was a member of the 1st Infantry Division in the ETO. One of the main things I recall about speaking to him was his response when asked if he had ever ran into any SS troops - he frowned and said something to the effect of "Anybody with lightning on their collars we shot. We didn't take any of them prisoner". WOW! For those of you guys who aren't real familiar with this stuff, SS troops wore SS runes on their collars which basically looked like 2 lightning bolts. The second guy I can recall was born in Poland and drafted into the Russian (!) army after the Russians occupied the part of Poland he grew up in. He served in some sort of sanitation unit, who's job it was to clean up the mess after a battle. This included burying bodies, gathering remains from all over the place, etc. He was in quite a few tight spots. I do remember him mentioning being in Kharkov during the battle that took place there. Whenever I deal with an older person who might be of that age group I always make it a point to ask what they did in the war. I think they appreciate other people showing genuine interest in the most significant part of their lives. The stories you occaisionally get can be fascinating.
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