By Simon Ambit
Observed as Armistice Day until 1954, the U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day and has since been observed as a time to celebrate the devoted service of United States military veterans. In honor of Veterans Day and those who serve and have served this great country, I share the following excerpts from a few of the experiences of my grandfather, a hero. He served in the battles of World War II.
“It was quite a life going through there. Six weeks at a time you never had your shoes off. For weeks you never had a bath. After six weeks, they would load you up and bring you back to the river and you could shave and take a bath in the river. Have a hot meal and right back up you would go for another six weeks.”
During one of their patrols, their company was fired upon. “Someone in our patrol threw a smoke bomb and we all dived to the ground. I could hear my buddy moaning. When everything was clear, we found that he had died.”
“I saw a lot of guys lose their lives. Being in those trenches you know, bombs going over them.”
“We had dug in, there were three of us in that hole. We took a machine gun belt and tied down to an old stump in front of us to hold the tent up. We had just a second and whish bang! I heard that little whistle and I just ducked. The tent fell down on us and the two guys in the back was a hollering. The bomb went off and lit right on the stump and it took that stump right out. It sent fragmentation flying and even exploded one clip of my ammunition!” The two soldiers in the hole with my grandpa survived, but had to be sent home with injuries.
Upon returning from the war, he commented about how every family seemed to have someone fighting or who had fought. “There was hardly a family anywhere that didn’t have at least one member in that war.”
My grandfather was honored to have served and believes that Truman saved lots and lots of lives with his decisions. “I would sure hate to go through it again and I would sure hate to see my grandkids have to.” He hopes to have fought a war so that others don’t have to.
To the veterans and their families of the United States, I say thank you and God bless you for your service and heroism! Life is good and we thank you for that.