Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank you, Clyde

[Reposted from Memorial Day 2009.]

Clyde Erwin was my father-in-law.

He died in December 1997.

He was a veteran. And, like so many others, very much worthy of our remembrance on this day of memory as a nation.

Nothing needs to be said about Nazi Germany, the result of the complete metastatic malignancy that destroyed an entire national community--economy, values, vision, humanity, soul and all.

Clyde spoke very little about his experiences in World War Two.

But he did tell me about December 1944.

He was caught in the very middle of "the Battle of the Bulge." He woke up on Christmas Day 1944 covered in a foot of fresh snow. Cold, fear, combat, in-coming shells, an advancing enemy army, all combined to make those days horrible beyond words.

Clyde was wounded in battle more than once. He witnessed the deaths of scores of fellow soldiers in the close combat involved in his assignment. How he made it back alive was something I know he felt to be a miracle. He never spoke of that horrible time without tears and great emotion. He earned a Bronze Star from the U. S. Army for his service in combat and for what he did in battle to save and protect those around him.

I wrote him a letter before he died to express my appreciation and that of our family for what he had done so far away from Wise County, Texas and the farm where he grew up outside of tiny Rhome. I am so glad that I did.

He was our hero.

Today I remember that he belongs to the nation as well.

Thanks again, Clyde. We miss you and we'll never forget.


rcorum said...

I deeply appreciate what you wrote today. It is impossible to imagine what those young men who were there actually went through. I also appreciate your knowledge of history and how the past affects the future.


Eloise said...

No wonder he and my dad were such good friends...they shared a very special bond.
Eloise (Stapp) Hughes

Steve said...

I heard a good quote that seems appropriate here:

America; the land of the free because of the brave

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belinda said...

i've heard it said that those that were actually IN a war don't want to talk much about their experiences and that they pray for no more war. it's the ones that have never been in war that talk & act like it's something fun and good.