This Day is a big day, much more than a day making our first summer, three day week-end off. I would like to tell you about Sam. He was an veteran. He was drafted in 1942 and went through the training that draftees got. He claimed that he was sent to Officer's Candidate School in Georgia because he had a commanding voice. I met him on his first day in Georgia. His train arrived from his former deployment early on a Saturday morning. He went to his new address where he met five or six of his future OCS class mates and his future room-mates. They were to sleep alphabetically. One of them had a car, and since they had been told they were free until Monday, and since one of them had tried to move his bed away from the wall, and since they saw a huge group of bed bugs, Milton Susser said: Let's get out of here. I have a cousin at Warm Springs and I think it's only a couple of hours from here. We will all chip in a gasoline stamp Stevens, if you will drive.
You have all heard about my being asked to show the group Warm Springs. And since they were called the sixty days wonders when they graduated, I guess our wedding on that same day was a wonder too. A wonder that was bound to fail for we did not know each other. And I did not know that Sam was a republican.
We had a year in Mineral Wells, Texas. And after having a short training time in Little Rock, Arkansas in how to behave while being bombarded with Poison Gas, he left for the European part of the War. He was lucky getting to stay some where in Enland for several months, but finally the ORDER came and he had to go toward Germany and he was a company commander. He said he was extremely lucky for the company had been in the war since the African part of it. And they had invaded Cicily and fought their way to a bridge from the Low Lands into Germany when Sam joined them. The soldiers, and especially Sam's Seargant were smarter than he was and Sam claimed he never would have survived if it had not been for Sgt Feckner (Iam not sure of his name but while I am writing this I am sending him many thankful thoughts) They were fighting in The Battle of the Bulge. There the Sgt saw Sam reeling and weaving and asked him:Sir are you OK. It turned out later that he thought Sam was drunk. The Co had earlier found the supply of the Vehrmacht's supply of liquor. But Sam collapsed a few minutes later and the Hospital in Liege Holland told him he had Scarlet Fever and since it affected his heart, he was in the hospital for over a month. He had slept in dugouts left by the German soldier who had slept there before Sam did. So I send him a thought of thanks too, for if he had not been in the hospital that month, he probably would not have made it home again.
And so I send thankful thoughts to all the people who are in danger. Sam was 100% against all wars and even though he never changed his political party (how I tried) he disliked Bush 1 for his involvement in the Panama fiasco and he was very happy when the army told our son that he was 4F. (allergy to bee stings)
Sam never joined any veterans groups and he hardly ever spoke of his days fighting. After the war was over his company had to guard the German big shots who were kept in the prison in Nuremberg. He would occasionally reflect on those experiences.