In The Pacific: Sgt William Hugh Thomas, 4th Div, USMC WWII.
Hey it’s Terrific Tuesday, again. How’s everything in your neck of the woods? If you haven’t looked at the dead bear pics and you are not squeamish, take a look. It was fascinating to watch the crew weigh that bear on Sat. Nov. 10. Gnarly. But I figure we might get email, calls, etc. about the dead bear.
I have been immersed in Veteran’s Day. Three events and well, I just became full of Veterans sacrifice yesterday. What you are about to read I posted on my personal Facebook last night. I have edited “my randomness” out of it.
“You can’t thank a Veteran enough”
I am full of words. I am about to overflow them lava-like down my side. I dreamed of death last night. All day I have thought of the dead.
I drove through the cemetery in Buchanan on my way to get my daughter, Julia. I still cannot stand by the grave of Bobby Benson without a primal scream ripping through my brain. My worst day ever day 1/15/91. Yet he died by accident, not in war.
I think tonight of my parents, both veterans and my father’s brother, Uncle Bill in WWII. I watched the last episode of The Pacific again last night. How war changes people. I listened tonight as the news faded out talking of Iraq-Afghanistan vets with PTSD and thought of Uncle Bill. He never got over The Pacific.
He drank it away.
He watched Japanese women grab their children and leap off of cliffs to escape Marines like him. He told me once windy nights sounded like their screams as they fell onto the rocks below. You can’t thank Veterans enough.
He spent the night in a foxhole with his best buddy whose jaw was shot away and held a cigarette to his upper lip as the poor guy bled to death. You can’t thank a Veteran enough, the living or the dead.
He fell asleep in sticky blood and awakened to the growl of a white Akita dog peering over into the hole. My uncle threw a grenade over its head. The next morning he found a dead dog and the two dead Japanese soldiers come to kill him using the dog to sniff him out. That was The Pacific he knew.
“Sissy you can’t imagine the smell of death, of blood, of an end that never came,” he told me when I was 12. I wrote it in my diary. He died when I was 19 and I never forgot him. He told me once when I gave him a cat to keep him company that next to his son and my Dad, he loved me the most of all of his kinfolk because I would listen to him talk of the real, unglamorous war.
Uncle Bill gave me stories to ponder as I age. He was more than an alcoholic uncle who passed out under the moon when my Momma wouldn’t let him come in the house. He was a Veteran who served a life sentence of war.
You can’t thank a guy like that enough for his service…ever…but you can remember him. SGT William Hugh Thomas 4th US Marines. Age 23 in this picture taken in The Pacific and he looks like he is 50.
Thank you and bless you to all who serve and see things much worse than a dead bear. See ya next week.