Went to the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge meeting here in Iowa last week. It was really kind of sad. There were about a half dozen vets there. The rest of the group consisted of wives and what one vet described as second generation members which numbered all of three, one of whom lives in Wisconsin. At the end of the meeting that same vet told my buddy Doug and I that everyone in the group, including us, needed to attract more second and third generation members so that the group doesn't die as the members become unable to attend for whatever reason. So this is a general shout out. Do you know anyone here in Iowa who fought in the Battle of the Bulge or whose parent or grandparent did? If so, I hope you'll respond here; and I'll get back to you.
My friend Wayne was unable to attend, but I forgive him . Thanks to www.honorflight.org he was on an all expenses paid flight to Washington D.C. to see the WWII memorial. I've added Honor Flight to my blog roll. Very much worth a look.
Again, do you know anyone in Iowa who might be interested in joining a VBOB group? If so, please post here. I promise to follow up.
As you may have noticed, that is if anyone is actually reading this, I've added a couple of blogs over on the right side of my blog. The first, "somewhere on the masthead" comes to us from Magazine Man. I've been reading his blog for a couple of years now. He is consistently funny and often thought provoking. I would be a happy man if I could write half as well as he does.
The second comes from "disappearing john" who works as a Registered Nurse in an emergency room. If you want to learn about what it's like to work in health care, John's blog is a good start. He also provide links to many other good nursing blogs. Check it out.
Finally ... oh geez I really need to work on not making my writing sound like a term paper ... I thought I'd clue you in to how my fascination with history began.
My parents always encouraged me to read, but until 6th grade it was mostly fiction. Then Mrs. Halleck, my 6th grade social studies teacher, gave us an assignment to debate who was the better general: Grant or Lee?That sent me straight to the library, and there I discovered the joy of reading and researching history. My opponent's thesis was that Grant was a drunk. My response was that there is some question about that, but the bottom line was, who won the war? A bit simplistic? Sure, but that's the way an 11 year old mind works. That spark, lit by Mrs. Halleck grew to an unquenchable fire; and the only way to keep the fire in check was to read all the history I could get my hands on. That quest continues to this day. So God bless you Mrs. Halleck. I am forever in your debt.
Enough for now. Good Night.
Addendum: In a shameless bit of self promotion I've added a link to my personal web page dedicated to the veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. I started it about four years ago when a good friend took me to a Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (VBOB) meeting. His dad fought in that WWII battle, the largest ever fought by U.S. land forces, and regaled his son with more stories of that horrible but necessary war than a still maturing boy should probably hear.
On the other hand, my dad fought in the Pacific navy aboard the USS San Francisco but refused to say anything else about it. My friend knew that I was eager to meet some vets, not out of any morbid desire to hear about death, maiming, and other carnage; but rather out of the need to hear their experiences and how they affected them, something my dad never talked about.
That first meeting was a revelation. My dad died before he was 50. I only wish he had lived long enough to tell his stories in the same calm tone as the vets I met that day. I'm proud to count a few of them as friends, and I encourage you to visit the site. For now, good night.