I try to post a Medal of Honor citation every Memorial Day. It’s awe-inspiring to scroll through the list.
One day I spoke with a man I knew well at church. Wally was a WWII Marine veteran who was part of the bloody Guadalcanal landing. He not talk about the war, but one day I talked with him about Medal of Honor. He told me, with some emotion, that for every Medal of Honor awarded there were many other soldiers who deserved the award “but no one saw what they did.”
Here’s a citation I found tonight. Harold C. Agerstrom was 19 years old when he lost his life performing the acts of bravery and sacrifice recognized here:
My father, who served in Korea starting at the age of 17, said to me on a couple of occasions (with more or less the same emotion) more or less the same thing.
My wife’s uncle, who was a gunner on a B-24 during WWII passed away recently. He was 98. Good man who flew 30 missions over Germany. Even with the war being many decades in the rear view mirror of his life, what he saw when he was there still haunted him. Movies like Saving Private Ryan and Memphis Belle would trigger his war experiences, sometimes to the point of open emotion.
One of my favorite memories was when we and my wife’s aunt visited my then new home to watch a PPV on my satellite system. My wife and I bought the WWE event where DDP and Karl Malone were wrestling Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman. His adult son had come to watch the show too. Everyone had a great time watching, but what I will always remember from that night was he an I laughing together uncontrollably at his son for thinking what he saw was real. A 30 something adult man standing there complaining about how Karl and DDP got screwed and demanding there be a rematch. It was a sight.