Yes, it's been one of those kinds of days. I woke up rather tired, then I had a mini-mini-catastrophe with a sewing project, meanwhile I was spun off onto the trail of a friends grandfather's history, coupled with my own. (The two men were stationed at the same place; perhaps even at the same time, during WWII.)
Anyway, I learned a wee bit more about the history of a place I once called home and have quite fond memories of. I learned a bit more about tanks vs. tank destroyers, the 8th Armored Division, the 809th Tank Destroyers, and my Grandpa's past.
I heard a new story today.
Grandpa was stationed in California in late '44 and '45 with the 121st Ordinance Company. One day, when he was south of his station, he and the guys he was with were in essence staging machinery (he didn't specify what kinds, but I would guess that would be tanks, trucks, jeeps, and such like) for the troops who would shortly be headed for the Pacific Theater. All of a sudden, he hears someone hailing him. "Snow!"
Well, he knew it wasn't one of the guys in his unit. So, he turns around and there is a guy from the 809th (whom he left before they shipped overseas). This man told him about the 809th's landing in Normandy a few days after D-Day. During that time, Major Poole (whom I am guessing was probably Grandpa's CO by the way he said it) and one of Grandpa's close buddies (his words) had been killed.
Grandpa always cries when he talks about his time in the service. Always. This story I had never heard before and it really seemed to affect him. I can now count three very close friends of his he lost in the war. His uncle Harold (whose picture sits on the buffet in our dining room; Harold always makes me smile for he looks so happy!), his high-school pal "Shorty" (I have seen his picture some place), and now this previously unknown soldier whose first name is lost to Grandpa's memory. I find learning these things helps put it all into perspective, as does looking at pictures like this:
May God bless our remaining "Greatest Generation"...and all our currently serving troops!