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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thanks for your service

Jeffrey and Samantha are on the road, headed this way. I had something I wanted to post for Christmas but I'm afraid I won't get it copied and posted if I don't do it now, so...

This is from a clipping perhaps from the Quanah Tribune-Chief, and it may have been taken from the Stars and Stripes, or my uncle Joe may have been reporting from Korea to the local paper. I don't know when Joe was in Korea. The Monday Christmas during the fighting was 1950; Joe was 22 that Christmas. The article says:


Sidelights About Soldiers and Service
by Joe Anderson

(Ed's Note: Cpl. Joe H. Anderson, Quanah youth, is presently on the staff of "Stars and Stripes.")

With the 25th Infantry Division in Korea. - The Quartermaster had apparently ordered what the Army's insistent reverse wording probably called "One each Christmas, white, Korean style, M-1850."

It snowed for weeks--not every day, but off and on, starting just in time after a dry spell that it put Christmas back in the soldier's mind before that particular cold Korean Monday appeared on the scene.


Where they had received them, the messes served their special Christmas rations: canned turkey, canned cranberries, canned everything. It was one of those meals that the army seems to save up for weeks in advance – one of those with which they try to make up for weeks of corned beef hash.


Up in the medical company of a Negro regiment in this division, the "Medical Harmonaires," a quartet that could give some real competition to their radio namesakes, switched from spirituals to carols. They were beautiful.


The field chapel services were packed – as usual, but a bit more so.


Where there had been fighting before, the fighting continued – but you've heard of that in much greater detail than the soldier in Korea ever hears. He's always too close for perspective.


The soldier joked as usual about the talking the diplomats were probably doing as usual. If his Christmas packages had arrived, he opened them. Many packages hadn't.


It wasn't much of a Christmas, but the soldier did his best with it.



Thanks, soldiers still in Korea. Thanks, soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, wherever. Thanks for your service. Have a really merry Christmas!



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