03 March 2011

10th Mountain Div, WWII hero- Bill


From the Soldier side: It’s funny when I look back at my career of being a Soldier, that one thing seems to remain the same in the military. The people.

Don't they look sharp! 

In any team, squad, platoon, company etc you will have a number of troops who you could take from 1944 and drop into a unit in 2011 and except for the uniforms and equipment, they’d be the same type of person. These types of people are the ones who will volunteer for stuff and get the job done.

A few years ago I had the privilege of finally meeting a hero from the US Army’s WWII 10th Mountain Division. He was one of the original members from WWII who fought in Italy and was wounded. His name is Bill.

Bill is my uncle’s father in law and I first had a chance to chat with him via e-mail while I was deployed. I remember when he saw pictures from Iraq, he asked me what all the "stuff" was.  I told him the M-4 replaced the M1 Carbine, the M249 SAW replaced the BAR, and the Humvee replaced the jeep, half track and a few other vehicles. 

I finally got to meet Bill a few years ago. He and I got to sit down and tell war stories. I would have loved to have been in his unit or for him to have been in mine. He was funny and I could tell that he was the kind of guy to tell jokes and pull pranks, but when you needed a soldier to get the job done…he was the guy you looked for.

I wish I could have gone back and spent more time talking to him. For those serving now, did you know I learned a lot of little tricks I used in Iraq from vets who fought in the past? Some things that hold true through out history. The equipment changes, but the people don’t--- at least I hope they never change. Read some history from past wars…and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Thanks Bill. You made the world a better place and you are a hero.


Anonymous said...

1. Another grunt!
2. God bless you. Thank you for your service!
V/R JWest

Coffeypot said...

Hand salute, Bill. Well Done, Sir!

Dude, I got a big chuckle out of your company supported tank. But you couldn't kill the enemy with it as it would hurt the image of the company - like Coca Cola. Kaddafi’s kids are fighting over who owns the Coca Cola Bottling Company there. Some things never change, even in war.

And Fire On The Mountain...man that brought back some honky-tonk memories. Love that song.

Wrexie said...

The tank made me laugh too.
Have a coke and a smile. KABOOM!
Budget cuts are close to home here on the border too... how about sponsor a fence? or a sensor?
...or a K9?

RD, I love this post! Those troops look sharp indeed. And Bill sounds like another brave and heroic combat comic... :D

Your perspective is so cool on this. You're right. People don't change, really. Just time...

CI-Roller Dude said...

Mr West,
The CIB is a give away.
CP, We try to pick music our readers will enjoy...(at least I do)

Wrexie, and did you see the cars behind the formation? I'd love to have any one of them.

Momma Fargo said...

Great post, CI Roller! Loved it.

SAM said...

Hey CI dude check this out: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1363432/85-year-old-U-S-Army-sniper-veteran-proves-lost-skills-picks-target-1-000-yards.html

CI-Roller Dude said...

Sam, When I got out of the regular army, I waited 13 years before I joined the National Guard. During that 13 years, I had never done the Army M16 qual...but when I got onto the range 13 years later, I still shot expert.
I knew an WWII B17 crew chief who could still tell you how to set the timing and headspace on a M2 .50 cal machine gun...and describe how to take it apart etc.