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.