flagI took a moment last week from my normal busy home inspection service to honor my uncle at his death.  He was 90 and had passed peacefully in his sleep just as the new year started on January 1st, 2016.  He had spent New Years Eve playing some poker and have a scotch with the friends he had grown close to at his senior center.  He had lead a full life of military duty, sales and an endless entrepreneurial spirit that affected everyone he came in contact with.  Always present with a handsome wide smile and charismatic personality, he was always popular with the women he met.  He was a man’s man and gained the respect of everyone who met him.

Back in 1942, just 17, he joined the navy and soon, as a medical corpsman, was embedded with the Marines as they island hopped in 1943 and 1944.  He saw a lot of suffering and death.  His big test was when he hit the beach of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945.  It was horrific.  He assisted with many wounded and dead until he was struck himself.  After healing up,  he served the wounded until November of 1946.  He never spoke much of it after the war until I had a chance to talk to him at Thanksgiving in 2014.  I took a moment to learn of his life and how he put everything in prospective.  He didn’t play up the good or downplay the bad.  He had gotten to a point in his life that that didn’t matter anymore.  He was just glad to have his health and his family.

I took a moment here to deviate from my normal tasks to honor someone who helped save the lives of many men who went back to their families, or started one, after the war.  So many owe a debt of gratitude to this man for the fathers, brothers or sons he quietly allowed to return to life.  The picture above displays the honor guard at his Fort Sam Houston Cemetery funeral.  Thank you.