Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Stories

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! 

My grandfather's on both sides of the family fought in World War II. There are countless stories about them, but I thought I'd just recount a few.

My great-grandpa Conger (on my mom's side) was a forward artillery scout. What that meant was that he would reconnoiter behind enemy lines prior to a battle to search for where the enemy's artillery would be. Then he would report back to his superiors so that, when the battle began, they would know where the enemy fire would be originating from. This was a very dangerous job and many such scouts never returned. My grandfather performed this duty in the darkness before dawn on D-Day. Not only did he make it back, but he stormed the beaches with the other marines and survived that too. 


At a different time, he and a small band of men were walking through the German countryside, headed for their next post. They came upon a primitive village that was full of enemy soldiers. In most circumstances, they would simply have passed by the village, careful to avoid detection, but in this case, they could tell the enemy soldiers were exploiting the villagers. They radioed their superiors for permission to go in and help the villagers. They were denied. This was because my grandfather's company was vastly outnumbered and there was no one around to come to their aid. They were told that it was regrettable, but nothing could be done for the villagers. My grandfather refused to take that as an answer. He refused to leave the villagers to such a fate. Instead, defying his superiors and risking court marshal, he snuck into the village alone. He made his way to the command tent and overpowered the commanding officer and then used the megaphone system that had been set up. He told the entire village of soldiers that the Americans had come and were taking possession of the village. All the German soldier high-tailed it out of there and my grandfather's company came in and took possession of the village without firing a shot, freeing the villagers and restoring order.


What a stud, right?

My great-grandfather on my dad's side has lots of stories, too, but the ones I know about him are more tragic. He was in a helicopter crash that killed all of his buddies. He was the only survivor. To this day, he has a very difficult time talking about it.

Another time, he was traveling with another soldier, walking behind an American tank. As they walked along, the tanks would spot a land mine and radio back to the soldiers. One of the soldiers would step out from behind the tank and shoot the land mine from a safe distance so that the tank could continue to move forward. At one point, it had been several hours since they'd come across a mine. When the men in the tank radioed that they'd spotted another one ahead, neither my grandfather nor his buddy could remember whose turn it was to shoot. My grandfather volunteered to do it, but his buddy jumped up first, saying it was probably his turn. He stepped out to shoot the mine and took a bullet to the head. Had my grandfather stepped out first, he would have been killed that day. I'm religious and believe that he was spared so he could father a vast posterity, but it's something he is still haunted by; not the sort of thing a person ever gets over.


So, as you enjoy your long weekend and the barbecues with all their jello and potato salad and homemade jello cakes (my family's favorite) just remember how many men and women have and still are given so much so you can eat those simple carbs in freedom. 

Let freedom ring!





Game of Thrones Recap

So I didn't do a recap of episode 8 last week because I was out of town over the time it was on. I could have (and did) write a post in advance and schedule it, but since the episode hadn't been on yet at that point, it would have been pretty difficult to do a recap. I should probably go back and recap that episode, but...I'm not gonna. Just too lazy. So, if you really need an episode 3.8 recap, I would recommend visiting Andy Gavin's blog. His recaps are better than mine, anyway. :D

As for this week's episode, I was all hyped up and ready to take notes for the recap, but guess what? No episode this week! Dah! They're really gonna make us wait another week? I'm so dejected! I don't think that's every happened before that they've skipped a week between episodes (especially since there's only two left!) Sigh. Guess I'll have to wait until next Sunday. *Pouts*

Anyone else depressed that the GoT season is almost over?

2 comments :

  1. great stories about the men in your family. what an honor!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not American but wow your family! It'd be so cool to know that your family has a good history. Hope you can stop by my blog as well.
    Old follower.
    My FF
    Laura @ Music Plus Books

    ReplyDelete