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Member since: Wed Jan 10, 2007, 10:32 PM
Number of posts: 573

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My personal WWI hero.

At 11:00 this morning, 105 years ago, my grandfather was on the Front lines in France, 20 minutes from being sent into the front trenches when the firing stopped and word came down that the Armistice had been signed. Talk about a close call for a young miner and frontiersman from Kentucky.

My grandfather, (I bear his name proudly) was born in 1899 the youngest of 8 children. His father died from a lightening strike as a toddler and he spent his younger years hunting and fishing to feed the family. He went into the army because his ancestors had always fought for this country ever since they came over in the 1760's.

While he was lucky that he didn't get shot in the trenches, Mustard Gas drifted, and he was exposed. For the rest of his life, he would be in and out of Veteran's hospitals, from where he would constantly escape and head home to his wife and children.

When he received his discharge money in 1918, he used it to buy a Remington 'Targetmaster' .22 cal single-shot rifle. The entire family learned to shoot with it (including me). I still have it in a place of honor.

Remember those men who fought in the "War to end all wars" and truly thought it was such a horrible thing that it truly would end war. Many could barely read and write, but they were smart in ways we have lost.
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