Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The latest Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge meeting

My buddy Doug and I went to the VBOB meeting about a week ago. It was a short but fascinating one. First, our friend John was shot five times before he was captured in the first days of the battle. Three bullets went through his side. A fourth bullet went into his left shirt pocket lodging in his copy of the New Testament which he kept there, saving him from a grievous chest wound. The fifth bullet struck his left arm tearing the muscle from the bone, and he has the scar to prove it.

As further proof, he held up the uniform shirt he was wearing when he was captured. Each bullet hole was distinctly visible, and the left sleeve was cut off where German doctors had attempted to reattach his bicep to the bone and actually succeeded. John was captured in December and wore that shirt until he was liberated the following April.

The ironic thing is that John's uniform shirt was supposed to have been burned when he and his comrades were liberated and before they were deloused. He got it home somehow and didn't even realize he had it until his wife was cleaning recently and found it in a closet. We all forget things of course, but imagine being so overwhelmed by the course of events that you forget where you put your clothes?

War is ugly. War is violent. Any vet will tell you that if you can gain his or her confidence. War is also sometimes necessary, although not always. They'll tell you that too.

More to follow about the meeting, but for now good night.

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I work in health care, love books, love music, enjoy the internet, my friends, and my routine. 8-)