Thursday, April 29, 2010

Talking with a World War 2 Vet: Momma's Cookin'


Everyone at my house totally has "please-can-we-be-done-with-school-now-itis!" But we are just getting to some really good stuff in David's Exploring America by the Notgrass Company. He is studying WW2, and they suggested interviewing some WW2 vets. I thought that it would be really difficult to find some WW2 vets to interview, but a quick call to my father-in-law, and he had three vets in his church who were willing to be interviewed. David, his good buddy Andy (son of my friend Sandy), and I headed out to the first interview yesterday afternoon.

This gentleman was in the Navy, drafted just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The boys were enthralled by his stories of being on a mine sweeper, and their eyes absolutely bugged out of their heads when he showed them the biggest gun I have ever seen along with a knife that he still had from his war days. But the story he told that really got to me had to do with his momma. He told the boys that the transition from civilian life to military was "traumatic." He talked about seeing young men crying on their bunks from homesickness. He said he never got that homesick, but as the time drew near for him to go back home, he started thinking about his momma's cooking. He said that he looked so forward to it! He could hardly wait to pull up to the table and dig in.

But--and this was the only time during the hour we spent with him that he choked up--it didn't taste the same.

I caught something in those words that I'm not sure the boys did. Nothing was the same after he went back home. And he had so hoped, craved, and longed for it to be.

Before we left, we thanked this gentleman for his service, and we acknowledged that fact that we live in freedom today because of what he and other troops gave up.

There is nothing like learning history from an eyewitness account.

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