Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Today I Met a Real GI Joe

This afternoon I was at my club to send some .22 LR downrange. While I was there an older gentleman was also on the line and I saw that he needed to be reminded of our current cease fire procedures. After he packed up his stuff I walked up to him and introduced myself, and politely went over some range rules with him.

We got to talking and I saw that he was wearing a 75th Infantry Division cap, so I asked Joe where he was sent during World War 2. He told me Europe and that he went through the Battle of the Bulge.

Joe told me that during the Bulge, his company of 182 men got down to 16 men, before they got replacements. He said that a lot of the casualties were from trench foot.

One of the things Joe recounted to me how if you qualified as Expert with one of the small arms issued to the Army, you would get a three-day pass. He was issued an M1 Garand, but he qualified Expert with an M1 Carbine.

Joe's still pretty spry at 92 years old, but it's hard to imagine this old man who is maybe five feet tall slogging his way across Europe carrying an M1 Garand and fighting the Wehrmacht. God bless him and all those who served.

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