Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day, a good story if you have time...

Old story, but still relative,  It fits what I posted a few days ago about old folk, we never know WHAT THEY WERE IN THEIR YOUTH, THEY ARE JUST OLD FOLK…

Memorial Day, a time to remember the fallen. When I read this article, I saved it for Memorial Day. I realize this day is not for the living. But I remember my mama's prayers late at night in the 1940's for my brothers and kin. They made it home, was it her prayers? many other mothers prayed and sons did not come home.  This is just a heroes story, but this man saw hundreds DIE!

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open. The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car, and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.
 I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him.I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade. He then turned back to the old man. I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying: 'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

 I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief, and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.  He then went to his wife and spoke with her; he appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough, and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight, and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'

 He smiled sheepishly, and quietly nodded his head.  I looked under the hood myself, and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road, and I told the old man that I would be right back.  I drove to the station and went inside. I saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them, and related the problem the old man had with his car. I offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

 The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine), I spoke with the old gentleman.

 When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'

 He said that he served with the first Marine Division at Guadalcanal , Pelieliu, and Okinawa .  He had hit three of the worst ones, and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me. I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

 He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it, and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again, and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

 I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station, I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.  One of them pulled out a card from his pocket, looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

 For some reason I had gone about two blocks, when I pulled over and  took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name was written; 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

I sat there motionless, looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage, and an honor to have been in his presence.

 Remember, as we approach another Memorial Day, OLD men like him gave you, and all of us, FREEDOM for America. Thanks to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them, and who continue to support them.
America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war.  America is at the Mall.

 Remember, Freedom isn't Free. Thousands have paid the price, so that you can enjoy what you have today.

Nite Shipslog

Our blogging buddy Rick is speaking at at Memorial Service today, say a prayer for him.


Lisa said...

Oh Jack. I loved this story! I read it twice. Have a great Memorial Day. Thank you for your services and the generosity, love and respect you carry with you.

Heading to work,

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

America is at the mall...caught my eye in your post today. Seldom do people realize just what our military sacrifice for our freedoms. It's a day to honor all our military, past and present. But yes especially the dead.
Remembering always they gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Hope you all are enjoy a Happy Memorial Day there ! It's a gorgeous morning in Ohio.

betty said...

What a touching story, Jack. I am glad you shared it. So many lives lost over the years due to wars. So glad people are willing to fight for our freedom.


Chatty Crone said...

Have a great Memorial Day. Thank you for your services. Great story!


Beautiful story.

Unknown said...

I thank our 2 older Brother you, Jimmy, Bill, Jim, Henry and many more in our Families that served. I thank all for their service and sacrifice that is
is the reason we have our Freedom.

Paula said...

Thank you for posting this story, it made me cry and made me think and appreciate.

Rick Watson said...

Love it Jack.

Mevely317 said...

Just goes to show, one can't (shouldn't) judge a book by its cover. I love this story, Jack; thank you for sharing it with us.