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Discussion Starter #1
:D Hey guys and gals,

Today we had an outing to the Mall for patients from the VA Hospital. I volunteer regularly, and this time I got to push a very interesting old-timer. He was 100% disabled, a WW2 vet. He went ashore as a 19-yr-old on D-Day plus 4 at Normandy. 90 of them went into a company in the 18th Infantry Regt, lst Infantry Division, the Big Red One, as he was so proud to tell me. The company he went into was down to 70 men. He lasted until into September, when he was in forest, and was hit by overhead burst in the trees. (By this time, there were only 11 of the replacements left. )It shattered his left calf bone, and he was taken to England. He woke up from Operation #1 and found a piece of shrapnel about the size of a quarter, taped to his chest. (Their way of giving him a souvenir of his wounds, and making sure it got to him.) Then back on the Queen Mary to the US, and then across America on a train to an Army hospital in Tacoma, Washington. There he stayed for a year, recuperating. His best friend in combat was from a little town in Oregon, and so on days off he would hitchhike on crutches down to his friend's folks' farm. They were overjoyed to meet him, and he with them. He went down there every time he had a chance. His pal made it through the campain and came home unscathed. They are still pals, and get together all the time.

Jesus, he was only 19 when all this happened. He has lived a good life, graduating from college afterwards, but then returning to the good life as an Iowa farmer. In later years his ruined leg has failed him, and so he is pretty much confined to a wheelchair. Such a great sprit he has. It was a joy to push him around, and I feel privileged to have talked to him.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This old-timer was just so good-natured that I could hardly believe it.

He told me that he was tickled pink that he caught that shrapnel in his leg. "What if it had been my head, or my chest, or my stomach?," he said.



Such a happy guy...I hope he lives another 50 years. :D
 
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