Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

My sister called to see if I had any pictures of Uncle Bob or Cousin Jim, because her son needed pictures of veterans for Veteran's Day tomorrow at school. She said she was watching "We Were Soldiers" on TV, and asked me what was Uncle Bob's part in the movie. "Technically, he is not in the movie" I told her. "He was at landing zone Falcon lobbing in the heavy artillery that kept Col. Moore's men from being over-run." "You mean he wasn't a helicopter pilot?" she asked. "Mom always told me he was a helicopter pilot" she continued. "No, Uncle Bob was never a pilot, but he did jump out of airplanes occasionally." How do such stories get started? I worry that our traditional family folklore is totally screwed up just because stories that are passed down often get confused. I remember Mom telling me stories of my two Matney uncles in WWII. Carl Matney was a hero in Italy, but she told me the stories when I was young. I was confused at to which stories went with which uncle. Now, I may never know all I would like about my uncles.


The important thing here may not be the stories themselves, although I wish I knew more, but it is the fact that my uncles served their country. Uncle Homer is still alive and well. Uncle Carl died several years ago. I wish I could talked to him. I wish I had heard his stories first hand. I wish I could have thanked him. Many of my uncles and cousins have served their country and I am proud of them and thank them.


So I sent my nephew lots of pictures last night of his Uncle Bob, Cousin Jim, and Capt. Jeff - pictures taken at the Ia Drang Valley Vet. reunion a few years ago on Veteran's Day in Washington, DC. Those are great memories. I think I will call Uncle Bob today.
The last photo is Chip Parker (helicopter pilot in the Ia Drang) Joe Marm (MOH recipient) Uncle Bob, and Joe Galloway - thanks guys!
And Thanks to all who served.

2 comments:

Buck Pennington said...

The important thing here may not be the stories themselves, although I wish I knew more, but it is the fact that my uncles served their country.

I have mixed emotions on this subject. On the one hand, you're absolutely correct about the latter, but the former? The stories are indeed important. My Dad took 90% of his stories about WW II to the grave with him, and perhaps the biggest reason the stories went untold is that he refused to tell them. Yet I feel a significant amount of guilt for (a) not trying to tease or cajole the stories out of him and (b) for not capturing those he did tell. The stories are lost for my want of trying.

So...if your Uncle Bob is willing, I'd say "Go for it." Be the historian. And he might know a thing or two about your two Matney uncles, as well.

My $0.02.

Catherine said...

Yes, a BIG thank you, warm embrace, and many blessings to those who served and continue to serve!