Friday, May 10, 2013

The Unknown Soldier

 This is from an old post I wrote three years ago:

After Bub (my step-dad) died, we had a memorial for him at Quaker Meeting. There was an old man there, close to 90 I’d say, who stood up and spoke about him. He said that although he had been a medic in World War II, he never saw any action, unlike Bub who was a sergeant who fought on the front lines for five years. When he spoke of this, his chin started to tremble and he had to look down and clear his throat. He spoke about the “boys” who served and how much he respected them. He talked about how years later he met Bub, who worked with his wife. How he picked her up and dropped her off, every morning and night, in his truck. He said she had referred to him as her work-husband. She had marveled at how Bub had a knack for organizing people and getting them to do things, always with a sense of humor. When he was done talking, he stood up straight and saluted.

What was so amazing about listening to the man speak wasn’t how recent his memories seemed, or even that he was so emotional, but that until that day I had never before met him or even heard of him. 

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