Theodore's World: Men Like This Gave Us FREEDOM for America

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November 25, 2008

Men Like This Gave Us FREEDOM for America

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.

The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, "You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age." And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, "Looks like you're having a problem."

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, "What outfit did you serve with?"

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all round again and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me. One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name........ "Congressional Medal of Honor Society."

I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence.

God Bless America, our Veterans and Troops.

Wild Thing's comment........

When I read this I cried, it is such a special story about America's Heroes!!!!

Thank you to all our Veterans and our troops today.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 02:50 AM


I wonder how many of those Obamanation will give out? Will you have to buy it first? Heroes should be given their due, not shunned in a corner because they did something tremendous for all of us. I am ever so proud that my daughters have two medal recipients--both from the Civil War--one on daddy's side and one on my side. As a parent, you HAVE to tell your children of their legacy. It's a must. Your children have to have something to be proud of out of the past.

Posted by: Lynn at November 25, 2008 04:30 AM

Thanks Chrissie...for getting my day started with such a wonderful story.

Posted by: James R McKenna at November 25, 2008 07:04 AM

I agree with James, Chrissie.....this is a wonderful story. Too bad the main stream media never reports anything like this!!!!! They probably would have praised the idiot that drove away without helping!!!1

Thanks Chrissie!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: John at November 25, 2008 10:31 AM

Thanks Chrissie, thanks Mark. Great story. Such an honor for those men.

Today, there are 99 living Recipients of the Medal of Honor. 39% of the living Recipients earned their Medals while serving in WWII (25) or Korea (14). There are 60 living recipients who performed actions in Vietnam.The youngest Recipient is Gordon R. Roberts, age 58. He was born June 14th, 1950. The most recent Medal of Honor given was for an action in Iraq. Ross A. McGinnis posthumously received the award on June , 2008.

Too many are posthumously awarded.

Posted by: Jack at November 25, 2008 11:11 AM

Good story. There are fewer and fewer WWII veterans around. When I go to the VA hospital it seems like most of the vets now are Cold War or Vietnam vets.

Growing up it seemed like most adult males had served in WWII. Now most American males are non veterans.

Posted by: TomR at November 25, 2008 12:13 PM

Lynn, I hate to say it but Bush hasn't given any out to any living GI since this war started. We've been at war for over 5 years and not one Medal of Honor presented to a living member of the Armed Forces. In Professional Military Education we studied the heroic acts of those (USAF) presented with the Medal of Honor and I can tell you that what some of our men and women have done today equal the heroic acts of previous wars.

Posted by: BobF at November 25, 2008 02:51 PM

The Janitor and the Medal of Honor.

Posted by: BobF at November 25, 2008 02:52 PM

That was a great story, and I am sure there are many others out there just waiting to be told. I hope you don' mind, but I borrowed it and posted it on my blog wih a link back to you. Again Thanks for posting it.

Posted by: Old Soldier at November 25, 2008 03:02 PM

Lynn, your children are blessed to have a mom like you. They are growing up knowing so much more then children of parents that truly don't take the time to teach them about our country and it's history.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 06:53 PM

James R McKenna, thank you, I love stories like this too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 06:54 PM

John, yes, nothing would surprise me about our horrible media. They are on my mental hit/anger list for sure.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 06:56 PM

Jack, thank you sooo much for that information. Heroes everyone of them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 07:00 PM

Tom, your right, it is such a special thing to happen when we are out doing something and get to meet and thank someone serving now. Or a Vet from our war today. Where we live there are a lot of Vets from the Korean war and Vietnam. But so many today are not enlisting like they used to.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 07:03 PM

BobF, that is so wrong. There are so many that should have been awarded this medal from our war today.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 07:05 PM

BobF, that is so good, thank you so much for the link to that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 07:08 PM

Hi Old Soldier, nice to meet you. You sure can, it would be wonderful to have this at as many places as possible.

Thank you for serving our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 25, 2008 07:10 PM

There was an old saying, MOH was usually given to enlisted PH, and Officers usually survived. I only met one MOH winner, an officer and all I can add is it was a great honor., to that I add to all our fallen heroes

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Posted by: Mark at November 25, 2008 07:45 PM