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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Saturday, March 29, 2008

the vet

Dad’s youngest brother, and my favorite uncle, passed away on Thursday evening about 11 o’clock. He is from the northeastern corner of Mississippi and had lived in that general area all his life, except for the time spent in the army. With his passing the World War II vets are one fewer. I don’t remember much about him when I was younger, since we left that rural area when I was 6 years old.

After I was married and Mom and Dad moved back to that part of the country, I got to know and appreciate this uncle very much through our visits there. This uncle was very reflective with a strong sense of duty and one could learn a lot by just talking with him. My Dad passed away before I really found out a lot about his past or really had an interest in writing but I determined to find out all I could about Dad’s last sibling. It came to me to go there in September 2004 to interview this uncle.

I did this, and with interviews at other times, I found out much of what his life was like before, during and after WWII. Uncle AG was inducted into the army and reported for duty in December of 1943. After training in several locations, he was sent to New Jersey and shipped over to Europe on
August 6th, 1944 and arrived in England on the 14th. A few days later they landed on the beaches of France as replacements for those who were killed in the initial landing.

My uncle was only in France 3 weeks when he got wounded by a mine. They shipped him back to England, cleaned out all they could and let him heal up. After several months they shipped him back to France but not on the front line this time. He guarded prisoners for a while and then was a courier for the rest of the war – and then did this same job until he headed home in December of 1945. I was glad he shared all this with me and I typed it up and gave him and his daughter copies of the transcript – it came out to about 39 pages. I even felt closer to him after that.

It was less than a year from the interviews that he had a stroke and his health had been up and down since then. He even told me many things that happened after the war including some about my Dad. Uncle AG was in his late 80s and we knew that he couldn’t live forever but the visits to that area will never be the same now that he is gone.

My two brothers and I, along with one SIL, are going to the funeral tomorrow – Sunday – and he will be buried in a cemetery near Fulton, MS. Thanks for the example of your life and your service to our country, we will miss you uncle AG. ec


Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

I'm sorry for the loss. I'm glad you got to know him better in recent years.

What a very nice tribute you have written for your uncle.


3/29/2008 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Please accept my condolences on your loss, Mr. Eddie—and my prayers for you and your family.

3/30/2008 01:06:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That was a neat thing that you did. Thirty-nine pages now carry memories that will be helpful now.

3/30/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

junierose - He was a good man, I will miss him.

SSN - Thanks much for you condolences - his are big shoes to fill.

AC - Thanks! I am going to make two more copies of it for uncle AG's granddaughters. ec

3/31/2008 09:53:00 PM  

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