Friday, October 14, 2005


A WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor,
embraces a returning Marine SSGT.

I don't know what I could add to this, except:
Thanks to both of you.
I've thought about this picture for days now and I've got something to add to my post. This is a photo that touched me in a number if different ways. One way was through a picture my oldest son had sent me.

My son, the Ranger, recently was chosen to escort Capt. Robert Prince at the Ranger's Ball and e-mailed me a picture of he and Mr. Prince together . The picture is similiar to the one posted above. They aren't embracing as these two men are.
But, the bond between the two warriors, young and old, is the same in both photos. Mr. Prince was the commander of the Ranger company that carried out the WWII mission to rescue several hundred allied prisoners in the Philippines. The story was told in the recent movie, 'The Great Raid' and in the book, 'The Ghost Soldiers'.

Here is part of my son's e-mail that accompanied his picture:
Attached are two photos. One is Keni Thomas (Mogadishu/Blackhawk Down survivor-my words here) and I. The second one is Robert Prince and I. Mr. Prince was the Company Commander for the Cabanatuan Raid. He is also in the book Ghost Soldiers and a recent film about the raid. I escorted Mr. Prince during the Ranger Ball. He is a pretty cool dude. Very down to earth and unassuming.
I got to sit at the head table and look out at the masses. It was pretty cool. It's not everyday that you get to BS with a hero.

My response to his last sentence was something like, "How did they feel to be in the company of a hero?" What I meant was, that they are all heroes. The warriors then. The warriors now.

Another way the picture touched me, was this: Many people see some old guy wearing a vet's cap and pushing a walker and that is all that they see. I have a picture of my dad in his Navy sailors uniform here in the room where I'm typing this. It was taken on my parents wedding day. My dad looks so young.
That's what I see when I see an old vet. I see some kid that stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima or Normandy. I see some guy barely out of high school manning a deck gun on a burning ship at Pearl Harbor. I see someone, not pushing a walker, but stumbling wearily on the Bataan Death March, knowing that if he falls, a Japanese bayonet will be shoved through him. I see all of this and more.
What I saw in the photo was two young men, reaching across time, to embrace in a way that only a soldier could know.

I see my father.

I see my son.

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