Our military now: there are about 1.3 million active-duty personnel, or less than one-half of 1 percent of the U.S. population. The army is the largest U.S. military service, followed by the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Experiencing the service we received in the United States Army at holiday time, was a logistical wonderment to behold. It was Thursday, November 26, 1953. We were part of the 180th Regiment of the Forty Fifth infantry division, deployed at a place in the Yongyu Valley near the 38th Parallel in North Korea. The temperature was about twenty-five to thirty-five below zero, give or take. The fighting had ceased on the 27th of July in 1953, Monday, at precisely 9:00 PM.
It was about a week or so before Thanksgiving day; from out of nowhere, in comes a team of engineers with three trucks loaded with building supplies to the point of explosion. Within one day, those guys erected a full and complete mess hall, capable of serving everyone in our company.
On the Monday preceding Thanksgiving, a large quantity of food along with a detail of cooks and bakers began arriving in the wee hours of the morning. The extra cook’s helpers had been flown in from Japan. Turkey, ham, shrimp, two or three salads, and all kinds of potatoes, along with lemon meringue, apple, and pecan pies. I honestly can’t recall what they served for hors d’oeuvres, but, I can tell you none of us were disappointed. I can’t recall the boxes of chocolate we received, but I do remember all of us had far more than we were able to consume. The only item left out was any form of hard liquor. (We were still considered a high level combat zone.)
That next day, we came to find out this was a common practice, afforded all of us serving our country, anywhere and everywhere in the world. To this day, I think about it when the traditional holidays are upon us. If it’s at all possible, our American military is made for us to feel as much at home a combat zone would permit.
Replacing the freezing cold with the warmth of family and friends at Thanksgiving time serves as a reminder to me of how lucky a man I am today, some sixty-seven years hence. The distress caused by COVID-19 is upon us. We’re all afloat on the same boat. While our military only represent an extremely small percentage of our population, they, as well, stand together as teammates while this lousy plague continues its effect on each and every one of us as a member of the American populous. Let’s all keep it in mind. Please join me and mine, on the celebration of this wonderful day, for giving thanks. And if I may, here’s another heartfelt remembrance which manages to touch my soul, thinking back to what was a very personal day in the life and times of yours truly:
Thursday, November 26, 1953
Sharing my short remembrance:
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