Saturday, March 15, 2014

Requiescat in Pace

Two deaths of interest to ponder today. The first:

I received the following email from someone who belongs to one of the organizations I belong to. I don't know the sender, and I don't know the person who is the subject of the email, but I'm passing it on because it struck a cord within me. It tells the story of a man who did the right things and was in exchange treated shabbily by life. Yet without the determination of such men there would be little hope for the future.
My best friend and former Army Ranger __________ passed away yesterday morning at home ending his great suffering from his battle with cancer. He will be sorely missed by me and all who knew him. He was a hero in every sense of the word with three purple hearts and two bronze stars for valor. He was very proud of the fact that he brought all of his men back home. _____ served in the Rep of Vietnam 1972-1973 when all of our troops knew the war was lost. His unit did their duty operating along the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia. His body was covered with scars from wounds received during that conflict.

_____ made a promise to God that if he got out alive he would work to make the world a better place. After returning home he received his history degree and became a teacher in the XXXXX school district teaching at risk kids for 20 years. His career was cut short when one of the at risk "kids" attacked him from behind and fractured his back.

One story I love about _____ was when he returned from Vietnam. He was at the airline counter in San Francisco filling out the paperwork to continue his flight home. As he was bent over the counter, he noticed a gray haired lady approaching out of the corner of his eye that he knew was going to be a problem. When she was sufficiently close she shouted, "Soldier, how many babies did you kill in Vietnam?" Without looking up he replied, "Babies none, little old ladies many." She scurried off with that reply.
Sounds like a good man who was dealt several crappy cards throughout his life. Please say a little prayer for him.

The second death notice is no less sad, but ranks a little higher on the 'human interest' scale.

'Kissing sailor' from iconic World War II photo dies
The sailor kissing the nurse in the famous end of World War II celebration of V-J day photo taken Aug. 14, 1945 in Times Square has died.

Glenn Edward McDuffie died on Sunday at the age of 86. Lois Gibson, a forensic artist, proved positively McDuffie was the sailor in August 2007 after many men had claimed to be the man in the photo.

McDuffie was born in Kannapolis, N.C. on Aug. 3, 1927. He joined the U.S. Navy at age 15 in 1942 after he found a friend to forge his mother’s signature and amenable notary public.

He played professional baseball after leaving service with the Virginia League Champions.

In 1960, the World War II veteran moved to Houston where he lived until 2009. He spent his last years near his daughter Glenda Bell in a Dallas suburb.

The service for McDuffie will be held at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Veterans Cemetery in Dallas.
The Greatest Generation becomes fewer every day. Please add Mr. McDuffie to your prayers tonight.

And to lighten the mood, please have a couple of extra drinks this evening in honor of these two fine men.


Old NFO said...

May they RIP, and I will hoist a toast to them tonight!

CenTexTim said...

You and me both!

Toejam said...

I head about Mr McDuffie's passing on last night's news.

May both of those military heroes Rest In Peace and may the memory of their sacrifices last in the hearts of all American's forever.

CenTexTim said...

McDuffie - a good Irish name. Shame he won't be with us for one more St. Patrick's Day...