On Memorial Day
He never liked to talk about his wartime experience. This conversation occurred on a sunny July 4th weekend about thirty years ago:
"Pass the potato salad, will you please!"
"On the island of Morotai, until we got camp set up, all we ate was canned
"Could you hand me the catsup."
"Then, after the guns were in place, we could do some cooking."
"Say, what's 'S.O.S.'?"
"Shit on a shingle. Only we didn't have bread until we could bake it
ourselves. So we just ate it outta the can."
"Oh. I'll have a little more wine, thank you very much."
"Some of the guys got their hands on the potatoes the supply unit sent in.
They went in the woods and tried to make booze by fermentation. One of 'em died
and I think a couple went blind."
"Did Bob Hope and those people ever visit you guys?"
"Oh, no. That USO stuff was more for show than anything else. We were spread
out all over the South Pacific. They would have had to make too many stops. We
had records, though. The Army sent records 'cause we couldn't receive anything
but Army, you know, business, radio."
"What about 'Voice of America'?"
"We were too far out there. Hundreds of miles from nothing. Except the Japs.
They'd come by, I guess from an aircraft carrier, and buzz us once in awhile."
"Did you shoot any down?"
"We missed more than we could. They got us, one day. Half the unit was blown
up. One shell and a whole bunch of guys were; well, you know."
SOME SOLDIERS, WHETHER VOLUNTEER OR DRAFTEE, LITERALLY ATE SHIT, AND DIED BECAUSE THEY WERE PATRIOTS, INTENT ON KEEPING THE
AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE INTACT. THINK ABOUT IT EACH AND EVERY MEMORIAL DAY...
APOLOGIES TO ANY WHO'RE OFFENDED BY THE USE OF THE WORD "Japs." PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT AND THAT THIS IS A REAL QUOTATION AND NOT MY OWN WORDS. THANK YOU.