Monday, May 25, 2009

Oldest Military Blogger. Memorial Day!

My son called this afternoon and wished me a happy
 memorial day and in the same breath asked why 
I neglected posting stuff on my blog for almost a month. 
I told him that I was conflicted.
"Great!" he said, "Write about your conflict 
and why that is so."
I replied, " I've had many experiences that I
 just couldn't write about."
"For instance?" he questioned."
Well, there was a time where I had a detail
 to guard a train out of the city of Cherbourg with a load 
of cigarettes, to the freight yards of Fontainebleau
a famous town, outside of Paris.
The train of 12 cars of the infamous 40 N 8ers that were 
on a narrow gauge track was to leave at the early hours 
of the next morning under great secrecy.
Cigarettes were the foundation of the French monetary system.
Okie, Porter, Lloyd were under my charge to deliver 
this most important cargo to all the impoverished 
Yanks who would use this booty to finance their Wine, Women 
and gambling needs....
Hey, the war was almost over and there were thousands 
of GIs on R and R in Paris without any 
American issued French Francs.
Cigarettes, when available,were in the PX at the 
army price of $1.80 a carton with a 2 carton limit
and could be exchanged in the mainstream civilian population
 for $20.00,  in French currency.
You did not have to be a smoker to buy at the PX 
but you were a fool if you did not make those 
two cartons the highest priority of your agenda.
When we entered the rail yards at our destination, 
during a brief stop, a First Lt. and two enlisted men 
approached me and told me they would take over the train
 and we were relieved.
When I asked him for papers after I saluted him smartly, 
the Lt .became irate. 
Putting his hands on his hips near his holster 
he said,"That's an order Sgt."
I turned to look over my shoulder pointing 
to the top of the caboose where Okie was sitting 
with a 50 Caliber machine gun aiming down at us.
The two enlisted men, turned, and walked away....
the Lt. smiled at me and followed them.
Twenty or so minutes later ,the train went deeper 
into the yard and a full chicken Colonel 
and Major released us from duty,, with the proper papers.

That's my conflict !
Who's going to believe this experience!
This is not a story!
There have been references to my Blog as a few "stories" 
Stories are easily written.....These memories are not easy.

"I may be able to think of some experiences 
that are more believable for my Blog later..
so be patient." I explained to my Son,
before I hung up.

After our conversation, which always ends
with, an, "I love you", I thought about the greeting 
of "Happy Memorial Day, Dad."

This day is to remember those who never made it home....
Those, whose efforts are keenly remembered by
 their immediate Family, Friends and loved ones.

It is a Happy Memorial Day for my Son Phil and I. 
We share this moment with you and to remind us  of 
those that cannot.



Anonymous said...

News travels! Since your city's recognition of you as a notable Sr. citizen and being titled "Oldest Military Blogger", your well written articles have gained viewer attention.

Your military experiences are based on REALITY, not fiction. Your suppressed war memories have brought "History to Life" since you
have been inspired to share these
with your readers. How can anyone doubt the TRUTH? Merle

phred3176 said...

Outstanding!!! Well written. Was the full chicken Colonel regular or extra crispy?

Anonymous said...

hi dad awesome

Eric said...

That was an Awesome story! Seemed more real then not, to be honest with you. I was in the 82nd Airborne. Some of those cats are squirrelly. You did good. :)

Love it. Keep up the great work. Well written and fun to read. You've got a new fan.

Have a Wonderful weekend!

Kate Anne said...

Hi and Peace hugs to YOU -- My Uncle John doesn't blog but he talks about HIS D-Day and Utah Beach landing experiences to school students in Erie PA -- He's 91 and doing pretty well, relatively. Do you know him? 4th Division but he has gone to a number of the reunions -- John Pfister?

AJ in Nashville said...

Solly: I honor you, Sir, and so appreciate the struggle you and your fellows waged so long ago to give us the freedom we enjoy today.

Thank you so much for sharing your stories and 'non-stories' alike. This is just another in the series of the great services you've provided to your fellow man.

God bless you and keep on tellin' it!


Scott Senffner said...

Thank you for your service and for sharing your experiences (large ones or small ones) in WWII. God Bless you and your military brothers, who fought for freedom, survived and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their life, on this day of remembrance of D-Day (65 yrs ago).

I am going to be coming back to read the rest of your experiences because I think my generation (30 somethings and younger) need to know what it was really like for the GREATEST generation. I just finished reading "Band of Brothes by Stephen E. Ambrose" and what a great book that was.

I came to your site from the military blogging site. What a great site that is as well.

God Bless you and your family! Also thank your son for prompting you to post something on memorial day 2009!

membrain said...

It's D-Day plus 65 years today Finnegan. It's thanks to you and those like you, especially those who gave their all, that we enjoy the freedoms we have today.

I salute you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service and thank you for sharing.

CI-Roller Dude said...

When I have a few minutes, I'm going back and looking at your older postings. It's funny, but I'm only 53, and I'm already forgetting some of my adventures in Bosnia and Iraq...until something happens to jar a memory...the funny memoris are the best....

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fein,

It was a pleasure having you on my JetBlue flight today. You told me to look up your blog and I did so. God bless you.

JetBlue flight attendant

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!