Saturday, August 28, 2010

Uncle John

Here is a photo of Alice's Uncle John Redmond before he went over to Europe for WWII. John was more of a Zen master than even me, a Tibetan spaniel! Alice says she's only ever met one other person with that sort of calm in humans: Ralph Smith, he who survived WWI trenches and WWII Saipan...

John served as a medic with Patton. He was there at the Moselle River on August 31, 1944 - just about 66 years ago today - when Patton's troops ground to a halt running out of gas while Ike sent the available gas to Montgomery who was not so fast as Patton.

I am sure John would have been very glad for that break at the Moselle - one of the few breaks he got while with Patton. A serendipidous Summer vacation.

WWII Army medics could take up arms to defend their patients. John did so when he had to despite being a signed and certified conscientious objector. He cleared out many German machine guns nests and organized at least one battlefield truce to clear the dead and wounded off. He came back to the USA with a silver star, a bronze star, and an Iron Cross, too. He gave them all away to neighbor kids. I think he knew the true meaning of those ribbons... So many had died all around him.... Life is so short for us all.

On a late Summer day in August in California in the year 2010 it's truly hard to imagine such large armies shooting at each other every day for months and months. I look to the Sun, let its warmth soak my fur coat and am so grateful I've never had to be in a shooting war in my home.