November-December 2002 Newsletter

For all veterans, relatives and friends of the

Christmas 1944 Message to the troops from Franklin D Roosevelt

Table of Contents: Click on the Link Below to Go To That Section:

Announcements and Editor's Notes
Website Developments
Email List Update
Letters and Exchanges

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Announcements, Editor's Notes and Website Developments

Editor's Notes

Well, the glow of the reunion is wearing off and it's back to normal. For me that means maintaining our monthly newsletter and exchanges with our expanding outreach, continued cooperation with The Editor of the TRW and the Society's elected coordinator, and processing material received from you and others for Mark to translate into html, or something magic like that, for placement on our website. The recent expansion of our membership categories to include relatives and friends of the Division will undoubtedly contribute to the usefulness and interest in these electronic tools. NOTE: This will be our last Newsletter of the year due to the holidays and that my publisher (Mark) will be in Europe most of the time. Letters, etc, received during December will be included in the January 2003 issue. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us both.

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Website Developments

All emails concerning the content of the website and newsletter, as well as requests for assistance on substance, should be addressed to my father at

Technical questions, e.g., requests for linksto other sites, errors on the 89th sute, and non-content items, should be addressed to me at When in doubt, copy to both addresses.

I am pleased to annouced that my father's complete WWII memoirs are (finally) online at Memoirs of a Private First Class

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought you may find this small article on the German Army celebrating Christmas to be of interest. Go to Weihnachten


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Email List Updates

It would greatly simplify our tasks if I were notified promptly of address changes, errors or when one is no longer using the Internet so we can make the necessary adjustments effectively and in a timely basis. The task of maintaining a current and growing up-to-date list is becoming increasingly complicated. We're not complaining, in fact we are overjoyed, but please remember that we are volunteers and, in my case, not as sharp as I used to be. If you are sending a message or follow-up, please identify yourself and your (or relative's) unit, as I may no longer have your original. Thank you.

BASO, Elido-C Co, 314th Eng (c/o daughter)

BOWSER, John Ray-B Btry, 563rd FA Inf c/o spouse, Mary Ann

CLEARY, Robert O-89th RCN

CONRAD, Frederick-F Co, 354th Inf

COUGHLIN, Charles -355th 3BN HQ (deceased) c/o son

DUNLAP, Laurel (Larry)-F Co, 353rd Inf

GESIN, Jack - Cn Co, 353rd Inf

INGRAM, Arlen-Co M, 354th (deceased) c/o daughter, Linda Schuster

JACKSON, Charles - K Co, 355th Inf (deceased)c /o Elizabeth- widow

JOHNSON, Frank E-Hq Co, 2nd Bn, 353rd Inf c/o son, David

LITTLE, George S-Camp Philip Morris (deceased) Unit unknown c/o son Douglas

NORTHCRAFT, Milton L-B Co, 353rd Inf (Deceased) c/o Margaret (daughter)

PETERS Jr, Orban W-B Btry, 914th FA Bn

PETERSON, Carl - F Co, 353rd Inf

PETERSON, Harvey D-Co I, 3rd Bn, 353rd Inf

PITCOCK, J. Duff-Signal Co.

POPE. Wm H-A Btry c/o grandson (David)

REED, Denver Lloyd-Btry C, 341tst FA Bn (deceased) c/o son Raymond C. Reed

ROSENBAUM, Gerald-Med, 354th Inf

SMITH, Scot M-Hq Btry, 340th FA Bn

SPINSBY, Harry Jr-A Co, 355th Inf (deceased) c/o son Kim Spinsby

SPOMER, John-Med3, 3rd Bn, 355th Inf

STAUFFER, Robert-K Co, 353rd Inf

TAYLOR, Harold V-G Co, 353rd Inf

WELLS, Richard N-Co F, 2nd Bn, 353the Inf

WIGSTONE, James E-K Co, 354th Inf

YENTES, Wallace H-B Co, 354th Inf

YOUNG ZELLE, Lester-Cn Co, 355th Inf

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Emile J. Boutin-B Co, 353rd Inf

I attended the reunion of the 89th Division in Indianapolis this year and was very disappointed in one thing that I think you should be made aware. When they read the list of recently deceased comrades one of them was not mentioned.

Emile Boutin passed away on April 1, 2002. I contacted the Rolling W of this information and have yet to see it in the magazine and Emile was not on the list of deceased comrades at the reunion. Please correct this and make sure this information is printed. His wife, family and friends would greatly appreciate it. Walter P. Goodpaster 89th Division "[A similar notice will appear in the next TRW]

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Letters and Exchanges

These communications are repeated here roughly in order of receipt.

[In order to prevent confusion on my part, when communicating with me please include your name, unit as well as email address. I will help me a lot. Thank you]

Invitation to the 89th to the Reimahg Camp Memorial from, Sgt. Patrick Brion

Dear Raymond,
Dear Marc,

Almost once a week, I go on this fantastic site about the 89th. As promised, I wanted to keep the veterans of the 89th informed about the latest news of the REIMAHG. First of all, very important, I finally managed to have contact with the 89th Regional Support Command. The date of the Memorial Day 2003 is now also fixed: 10th May 2003 in Kahla.

One of the items I discussed with the 89th RSC was to invite a delegation of the 89th together with veterans whom actually liberated the camps around the REIMAHG. Next week, I am off again to Kahla to continue the research. The Belgian national television is also joining, since they are preparing a major documentary about the REIMAHG.

So, the first contact has been made with the 89th RSC. Next week, the secretary of the Belgian Veterans who were there as forced laborers and I will discuss the final program of the memorial day together with the local German authorities.

Hence, I would like to launch already the appeal on the website of the 89th. It would be fantastic to have also veterans of the 89th present at the Memorial Day.

So, dear Raymond and Marc, I hope to count on your support to spread the idea of veterans joining us next year.

I can already give some information. On Friday the 09th May, we will be visiting Buchenwald KZ and in the afternoon, a visit inside the mountain where once the REIMAHG was together with an exposition will be organized. This is something a lot of people have been asking me and I finally managed to convince higher German authorities to help us, since the mountain is off-limits.

Furthermore, I would like to ask you, if I could also join the 89th Association. I do need some explanation about how to deposit the 20 $ for joining.

Hope to hear from both of you very soon,

Take care,



[Anyone interested in attending the Memorial please contact Sgt. Brion. Please also keep us informed.

Here are some interesting pictures supplied by Patrick.]

Reimahg Today

Reimahg in 1945

Inside Reimahg #1

Inside Reimahg #2

Reimahg Ventilation System

Inquiry on 550th AAA Bn, Btry C from, Larry Paul, Jr

Specifically looking for Battery C, 550 AAA BN of the 89th Infantry Division. This unit landed in Swansen, South Wales on November 1, 1943. My son-in-law's father who has passed away several years ago belonged to the unit and I'm just trying to help him get a little history of the unit. Can you give me any information on how to specifically get to this unit? I do have the general web site of the 89th but can't find more detail. Would be grateful for any help you can give.

Thanks, Larry Paul former pilot of a B17 in the 8th Army Air Force 1944-1945.

[I requested the help of Chick Cecchini who replied]

Unfortunately our history does not devote any space to attached units. The 550th does show up on page 201 (ops Orders for Rhine Crossing of the History Book) in paragraphs 2a, 3c (1) and d. While I cannot give you the name or names of members of our Society who were in the 550th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion, I do know that there are still several 550th AAA Bn. guys listed among our Society members. You might look through the Society membership listing. One of more of the 550 AAA in our Society just might be a lucky contact for Larry Paul. Chick

Editor--I did just that and located three 550 AAA vets as follows:

CALRCO, Vincent R - A Btry
15 Brewer Place
Westfield, NY 14787
716 326-2320

SLATTERY, Walther N - D Btry
68 Webster St. - Apt #1
No. Tonawanda, NY 14120
716 694-9856

ZAMITO, Russell J - C Btry
258 Lowell Road
Kenmore, NY 14217
716 874-5544

Only Zamito was in C Btry but all three live in the same area and may be able to help. [Anyone, please respond if you can, Editor]

Info requested on Albert Griffith--by Rob Ziegler

I am the son-in-law of Albert Griffith, who passed away on July 18, 1998. While he was alive, he never talked about his war experiences, as I am sure many of the veterans of combat have done. Since his death his widow has uncovered his discharge papers and found out that he served with the 89th Div, 353rd Infantry, Co. M. , also that he received two Bronze Stars. His family is very interested in finding out more about his time in Europe. In doing some research I came across your web site and thought maybe you could help. We are trying to contact anyone who might have known "Griff" or at least someplace to get more information about Co. M.

I would appreciate any help that you can give us. Thank you [If anyone can help, please contact Albert. Also, Albert, please check our email list to see members of M Company, at

Band Reunion, by Bob Samuels, B Co., 354th Infantry

One of the high points of the Indy Reunion was the reunion within the Reunion of the 354th Regimental Band. Billed as the Dixie Hotshots they performed Friday evening and Saturday evening for the dancing after the banquet. They managed to play a large variety of tunes just as they had rehearsed them. Of course the rehearsals were in Camp Butner and Linz, Austria more than 50 years ago.

The local ringleader was Harry Bertram of HQ Co., 354th who lives in Indianapolis and made the arrangements for space, the renting of drums for M. P. Wilson to play and recruited two local reinforcements for the band.

Harry, having gotten beyond first bass in his musical career also played clarinet. No not first base, first bass. He formerly played large violin aka "doghouse" or bass.

Note that in the photo of Gerry and Ruth Rosenbaum dancing after the banquet on Saturday night Harry seems to be scratching the back of his old R & I platoon combat buddy, Gerry. M. P. Wilson, of L Co. , 354th, besides drumming also did several vocals.

M. P. wrote a comprehensive "Story of the 354th Band" that was published in the August 1994 issue of The Rolling W. Ed Burnes, of B Co., 354th, played soprano saxophone and admitted to delivering some fabulous number of babies (actually 800) in his career as a physician. Phil Plumby, of A Co., 354th, played trumpet forcefully and emceed the Friday night performance. Unfortunately he had to return to Ohio and wasn't present for the Saturday night gig. The reinforcements were Mark Kurowsky on banjo and John Skaggs on piano/ keyboard. John also did some vocalizing.

The music, selected by Harry Bertram, was great and consisted of many "bread and butter" tunes from the good old days like "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Stardust" and "It Had to Be You" and some with more jam on them like "C-Jam Blues", "Muskrat Ramble" and "Saints Go Marching In". They inspired some spirited dancing. M. P. Wilson contributed vocals on "Sunny Side of the Street", "Makin' Whoopee", "Blue Skies" and a special version of "Indiana". Phil Plumby and John Skaggs sang different versions of "I Want A Girl" (just like the girl that married dear old dad). Phil Plumby also lead the audience in singing some tunes and performed a special trumpet tribute to his A Company and Regimental Band buddies, "My Buddy". He also sang the "354th Infantry March" written by the late Ray Woods.

354th Regimental Band (reinforced)

The 354th Infantry March by Ray Woods

Now you can have your navy, and your air corps too, But as for me, give me a guy whose cap is trimmed with blue They're called the "Queen of Battle" a name in combat won And all the world will sing their praise before this job is done. Wherever the sun is shining and men fight for victory Over hill and dale along the darkened trail you'll find the Fighting Infantry They're out front and smiling as they go to meet the foe. They'll never turn about instead you'll hear them shout The enemy's ahead so lets go get 'im. We're the infantry and we'll never let you down We gotta walk but we'll be there in the fight we'll square the score.

So drink a Toast to the 89th and the Fighting 354.

Request for info on Dad Maureen Durdin Tucker

Hello, My father was in the 89th Infantry Division, Patton's 3rd Army 354 Canon Co. LoLt. Can you tell me how I can find out more info? Thank you very much!

Info on D.M. Durdin- From GERALD & DOROTHY STEARNS

Hi. If we're talking about D.M. Durdin, he was indeed in Cannon Company, 354th Infantry Regiment, 89th Infantry Division. I know this because I looked it up in the "89th Infantry Division, 1942-1945", a history of our outfit, which lists the soldiers active during that time period.

Yes, we were in Patton's Third Army during that last hectic drive to end the war. We spearheaded for a time with the Fourth Armored Division, but also worked closely with the 11th Armored, and in two other Armies. D.M. is listed as a Private First Class (Pfc), the journeyman level of soldier, and as having been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), about which those of us who hold it feel pretty proud. Many of us 89ers are members of the 89th Infantry Division Society, WW II, and have been meeting regularly throughout the country for a number of years. We met most recently in August 2002 in Indianapolis; in 2004 it'll be in Washington, D.C. We publish The Rolling W magazine three times a year with personal stories, and just about what you'd expect of a fraternal organization's publication.

We also have enjoyed a website for the last two years at, which has many features to provide backgroun d on your Dad's war years. It also provides a way of inquiring about ex-89ers: our Webmaster, Raymond Kitchell, (an old-timey artilleryman) asks you to join other family members who have written in at Ray and his son Mark also provide a monthly newsletter, which includes inquiries like yours.

You can also e-mail The Rolling W editor Mary Brunner (an 89er widow) at to see if you can reach in the December (or later issue) a Cannon Co. member who doesn't use a computer.

Now, about me. I could not figure out what "LoLt" stood for and I'd sure be pleased to know. It looked like some kind of Lieutenant ( but doesn't seem likely). I was in H Company of your father's regiment.

[Editor: Thanks Gerry for your help.]

Elido Baso's loss c/o

Dear Kevin:
Please express my condolences and that of my Son to Elido for the loss of his wife whom we had the great pleasure of meeting on our "Tour of Remembrance" to Europe several years ago. We share you grievances as I am sure his comrades will also.

It has not been our practice to list the deaths of family members on our electronic tools or in the TRW, only the vets themselves under TAPS, as I hope you will understand. However, if you wish, we will be pleased to include your letter in our December issue along with this reply

I will change Elido's email address right away. I hope that when he visits you next you accord him the opportunity of seeing our continually updated website and reading our newsletters, as I am sure that would please him.

Sincerely, Ray and Mark Kitchell [I am sorry we lost the original email. I remember Mr. Baso and his wife very fondly from the Tour of Rememberance. She was a lovely French woman he met while in Reims, right after the war--Mark]

Information requested on Al Gilbert by Rob Ziegler

I am the son-in-law of Albert Griffith, who passed away on July 18, 1998.

While he was alive, he never talked about his war experiences, as I am sure many of the veterans of combat have done. Since his death his widow has uncovered his discharge papers and found out that he served with the 89th Div, 353rd Infantry, Co. M, also that he received two Bronze Stars His family is very interested in finding out more about his time in Europe. In doing some research I came across your web site and thought maybe you could help. We are trying to contact anyone who might have known "Griff" or at least someplace to get more information about Co. M.

I would appreciate any help that you can give us. Thank you [Anyone, pleaes respond if you can help--Mark]

Inquiry about George Stanley Little Douglas Little St. Louis, MO

I'm trying to find out more information about the time that my father spent in the Cigarette Camps. Since they were run by the 89th Division, at least the one where Dad stayed, there may be someone who knew of him in the ranks of your membership.

He did handle the mail and sell stamps so I would assume that most of the men that wrote letters and purchased stamps would have had some contact with dad. Apparently he was made an acting Sgt. over 80 or 90 men. I'm not sure exactly what that means but it sounds like he may have directed the activities of a significant number of soldiers. Some may remember him that way.

His full name was George Stanley Little. Most probably they called him Stanley or just Stan. Unit records of the 941st list no nickname for him. However mom said that they sometimes called him "Stache" presumably short for mustache (he grew one during the war). Dad had a prominent nose and while he was Scotch-English many thought him to be a Pole and/or Jewish.

I would appreciate it if you would put an item about my search for him on your web site and that way maybe we can find someone that may have met him at the Cigarette Camp.

[See story next]

George S Little-941st FA and Occupation Duty with 89th Div

I have re-visited your website and find that it has been nicely re-done. I am sure that it will be very popular.

I would like to correct and extend my past emails to you. They were made as I began my research and I now know quite a bit more than I did last year.

My father was George S. (Stanley) Little and he was trained if FA at Fort Bragg from Sept 43 to Feb 44. He shipped out in March arriving in England on March 21. He was then placed with the 941st FA Bn, an outfit filled primarily with men from New Hampshire (as it was a reconstituted N.H Nat Guard unit). Many were of French-Canadian hyphen American descent and most could speak French - a definite plus during the 73 days they spent in France.

The 941st was attached 95 percent of the war directly to V Corps and therefore Dad didn't have a division patch until he got his 89th patch during occupation duty. The 941st landed at Normandy on D+7 and fired their first rounds the next day. Their last shots they fired were in March 1945 at the Rhine River crossing. This unit was in all the toughest battles, including supporting the infantry in the Hurtgen Forest.

The 941st pulled back from the Hurtgen Forest and over to Monschau, Germany. They had a few days of peace during December and then on Dec 16 they took a beating from the opening German artillery barrage at Monschau as the BOB campaign began.

The German spies had carefully plotted all the OB Posts and HQ/FDC positions and accurately fired upon all the places the 941st were living.

The German 6th Panzer Division desired the road net at Eupen and had to go through Monschau to get there. Since artillery units are supposed to be further back behind the lines, the 941st hastily packed their equipment and began to withdraw to the west only to run into elements of the German paratroop division dropped the night of the 16th.

Pfc. Raymond Yeatts, of "A" battery made a report to the company HQ the night of the 16th to report that he had heard many planes coming from the east and then returning to the east, without dropping any bombs, but his report was apparently given little credence by the unit G3 officers. Big mistake!

The 941st could only go two directions -east or west. To the east the 6th Panzer division was advancing. To the west were the elements of the southern edge of the paratroop division. Fighting in two directions has to be really rough. The 941st temporarily unable to move continued to fire at the advancing Germans with only the barest minimum cavalry and infantry support to their front. (There was one other FA unit included in this fight but I haven't been able to identify them yet.) The ferocity and accuracy of fire in this engagement was duly noted by V Corp. HQ and other higher echelon officers.

The commanders of the 941st really wanted to go west but they had no infantry screen and only a few heavy machine guns plus everyone's personal small arms. Fortunately, before too long, a small US reinforcing unit came down the road from the west and provided the firepower to hold the German paratroops while the most of the artillery pieces, ammunition trucks and the rest slipped away. Several artillery pieces were abandoned in place because they were frozen in the ground with no time to get them moving.

By the time the last of the 941st was leaving the area the German paratroops had begun to arrive in force and the firefight became real hot. This was the escape that Dad must have been referring to that I got wrong in my previous email to you. I have learned that my father was on the FDC "night shift" so he was asleep (incredible to think about) as the "evac" began in earnest. This is the time that Dad told me about his Lieutenant came by frantically yelling and kicking him awake and telling him to run to a truck right away. Dad said as they careened down the road in their truck rounds from small arms fire were whizzing by.

The help screen the "evac" the 941st left 15 men and machine guns in Monschau on detached service with the 38th Cavalry Recon Squadron and a couple of other units that I can't recall. This group held up the German 6th Panzer Army and other German units for 24 hours (plus or minus). These units eventually withdrew under the force of the advancing divisions but only a mile or two at most. These units were part of the defense of the "BOB northern Shoulder" of the Allied armies and yielded precious little additional ground to the Germans.

Happily this was much to the frustration of the German Task Force Pieper, the "spearhead" of the advancing German units. The task force was infamous for the atrocities perpetrated near Malmedy and other spots.

The actions of that small force at Monschau December 16-18 of 1944 were rewarded with a Distinguished Unit Badge. I have included the "official citation" below.

Below is the article in the 941st battalion's official "field newspaper" of June 18, 1945.


Fifteen members of this unit [941st FA Bn] have been awarded the Distinguished Unit Badge for their work in assisting the 38th Cavalry Recon Squadron (CRS), to repel the German counterattack in the Monschau area last December [1944]. These men were on detached service with the 38th [CRS] at the time and remained in support of that mechanized unit for about 10 days. The citation is directed at the 38th Cavalry Recon Squadron (Mecz) and attached units and read as follows:

The 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), with attached units, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy during the period 16-18 December 1944, in Germany.

During the major counter-offensive staged by the 6th German Panzer Army, the squadron and attached units displayed extraordinary heroism and outstanding combat proficiency in repelling for three successive days the desperate [attempts] by the 326th Volks Grenadier Division to open the Monschau sector for exploitation by the 2nd Panzer Division.

Defending a front of 9,000 yards and standing alone between the full-scale German attack and vital road nets leading to Eupen and Liege, this thinly spread force held its ground in the face of five attacks ranging in strength from a reinforced battalion to the combined elements of two infantry regiments. Three of these assaults were supported by direct self-propelled artillery and rocket fire, which preceded the attacking infantry.

The battalion of German paratroopers, which had been, dropped behind the lines on the first night of the engagement seriously harassed front line elements as well as the forces rear areas.

Despite the fact that the numerically superior enemy made several penetrations, one of which was in battalion strength, isolated outposts and platoons held their lines with grim determination. Although artillery [941st FA Bn] observation posts were overrun, the personnel fought with small arms to maintain their positions and adjusted devastating fire upon waves of German infantry.

All enemy infiltrations were thwarted by determined fighting and close hand-to-hand combat. When the battle was most intense every available man, including personnel of rear echelon maintenance and supply sections and soldiers being treated in the squadron infirmary, were employed to drive back the advancing forces.

The gallantry and combined skill of this force resulted in 300 enemy killed, thirty-one prisoners taken, and countless casualties inflicted upon the enemy ranks.

The strength, courage and determination exhibited by the personnel of the 38th Cavalry and attached units in denying the Germans access to the vital road net contributed largely to the ultimate defeat of the German offensive in the Ardennes.

Men of the 941st Field Artillery Battalion Receiving this Award:


Cpl. Alexander, Ethan D.,Service, Danville, Ill
Cpl. Methot. Harold L., C, Wetmore, Mich
Cpl. Potter, Orland P., C, Detroit, Mich
Pfc. Daly, Edward P., HQ, Philadelphia, PA
Pfc. Evans, Ben, A, Chicago, Ill
Pfc. Figueroa, Unk, Unk
Pfc. Hewitt, Homer E., Service, Manchester N.H.
Pfc. Landry, George E., Service, Manchester N.H.
Pfc. Rooth, Calvin S., C, Chicago, Ill
Pvt. Coonradt, Clarence L., A, Osage, Iowa
Pvt. Griffith, Charles B., C, Quitman, Miss
Pvt. Morris, John L., Service, Struthers, Ohio
Pvt. Murph, Walter, C, Charlotte, N.C.
Pvt. Oliver, Kenneth E., HQ, Harrisburg, Ill
Pvt. Spagna, Charles A., HQ, Bronx, N.Y.

A Medley of Sounds, Sights and Smells By Gerry Stearns H Co 354th

Real estate people say
Prospective buyers for your house
Will be charmed by the smell
Of fresh-baked bread.
In the mess hall the same perfume
Made you ready to fight the world,
Or, at least, to face another day of training

How many newsreels had we seen
Showing the Lady of Liberty
Torching It Up
In New York Harbor?
But, if you'd never seen her face-to-face before,
Like me, entering the Harbor for the first time,
She speaks directly to you.
She says, "Welcome Home" like nothing else can,
Even if home is many miles and hours away.
There is no grander sound than a bugler
Playing "To The Colors",
To introduce the raising or lowering
Of The Flag.
It fills you with the kind of pride
You hope you deserve.
"Taps" at night, in an encampment
Is like a mother's loving touch.
"Taps" by an open grave
Is a chill wind on the back of your neck.

An artillery round on its way--
Where did it start, where will it end?--
Makes a fluttering sound overhead
Not quite like anything else.
It seems almost benign.

I learned early on to respond to the command
"Rye-eet, Dress!"
But then some poetic colonel,
In a back corridor of the Pentagon,
Decreed we'd align our ranks
To "Dress Right, Dress!"
Three crisp syllables. Much better.

In Luxembourg, in the dark night,
Passing overhead,
Something going "putt, putt, putt",
Like a motor scooter; and trailing sparks?
At any rate, trailing light in the sky.
As the sound moves higher and further away
Someone says, "A V-2 rocket".
Bound for London? From close by? This late in the War?
A terrorist weapon, certainly.

In ranks, in full class A uniform, at Camp Butner,
A review for Wendell Wilkie, Republican candidate for president.
I see nothing but the backs of OD-clad troops. (Suntans?)
And a long way ahead somebody commands
What may have been "Bring your units to attention".
Then, progressively, "Battalion," "Company," "Plat-oo-oon,"

Was there band music? Were we ordered to present arms?
It probably would have been the last time
For the sound of so many Division hands
Slapping taut leather slings against M-1 stocks
(They issued us web slings for overseas).
There was a sense you'd been involved
In something important, but without sight,
There was no conviction.

In the cold, white winter of 1945-46
In Linz, Austria
I saw the forerunner of today's SUV:
One of the U.S. jeeps enclosed in half inch,
three-quarter inch, armor plate,
Courtesy of the Hermann Goering Autowerke of Linz.
I no longer had "my own" jeep
Which I figure was just as well
Because the vehicle was top-heavy
And in a skid and roll-over I'd carom around inside
Like a ball in a pin-ball machine
And be well-nigh frozen, to boot.

Contributed by Darrel Carnell

This came to me from a young female lawyer who was born long after I was graduated from law school. It's comforting to know that some of the "younger generation" appreciate our efforts of so long ago.

What is a Veteran?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She (or he) is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Parris Island drill instructor who has never seen combat -but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU."

It's the soldier, not the reporter, Who gave us our freedom of the press.

It's the soldier, not the poet, Who gave us our freedom of speech.

It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who gave us our freedom to demonstrate.

It's the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves others with respect for the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

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