From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tribute to One of My WWII Friends

I know a wonderful man and his wife through my church. (She is just as wonderful.)  He is the only one I have ever NOT pursued about telling me his story of war.   Even in his 80's, he is still vital and strong.   Randy and I have shared  wonderful times and our lives with this exceptional couple.  A gifted artist, Harold carves beautiful and amazing things in wood.  I was thinking again today of his face when he speaks of his war experiences, or I should say refuses to speak of his war experiences.  If by no other means, by his face, I know war is a terrible thing...

I offer my tribute to this true  American patriot in these words.


I have a friend who is old and wise,
His heart is gentle and it is kind,
You can see it in his soft grey eyes.

His hands are skilled in a craft.
With them he deftly carves in wood,
As exquisite works of art he drafts.

Long ago when he was very young,
He was sent across the ocean to war,
As proud and patriot songs were sung.

In Germany a mad man  took control.
Before the world could fully realize,
Many atrocities we would behold.

The deeds required to end this terror
Would demand great sacrifice from all,
For complacency was the world's error.

Men with hearts pure before God and man,
Are what is needed to defeat such a foe,
When evil in the world gains the upper hand.

He did his duty with honor and he was brave.
Men who were friends, had fallen beside him.
When he came home he visited their graves.

Slowly he resumed his peaceful and normal life.
Reaching out to the God he serves for strength,
The things beheld, he told only to his wife.

Now his hair is white and his step is slow.
When others recall their days of battle,
Still he cannot speak of what he knows.

Physical wounds heal faster than those of the soul,
We cannot purge them from our minds.
No matter what we do, they follow us till we are old.

If memories are stirred from where he keeps them hidden,
It brings pain which is sharp and strong,
Then tears from his eyes, though they are not bidden.

Some men view war just as a chance for glory.
My friend came home lived quietly and well and, 
He carves beautiful things in wood to tell his story.