Friday, December 5, 2014

Chance Encounter

Waiting at a tire shop, noticed an old gentlemen’s hat festooned with various pins. Not often you see a three war Combat Infantry Badge.

After speaking to the gentleman, we had a nice conversation. He was born in North Dakota, a second generation German/Russian/Swede and married a Finn.

Eighty-nine years old, he tended to ramble, but still sharp, and still driving. He retired somewhere around 1971. Unsettling for me personally, as that day was my late father’s birthday. He was a WWII vet.

Doubt I will meet anymore WWII vets so I was pleased to have this chance.


  1. Fewer and fewer every day, I consider it an honor when I meet one.

    1. Salty old dog, he was. Showed me his two round derringer loaded with shot shells. "First I'll castrate them, then I'll blind them. They will remember meeting me", was how he explained his plan. Also showed me a black and white picture of his then-teenaged bride.

  2. Three CIB stars? Impressive indeed. We just lost one of our three star CIB folks this year that was a regular at our yearly reunion here. Sad day indeed.

    1. I think it goes like this.
      CBI for one war
      Star for second war
      2nd star for third war
      3rd star for fourth war
      I've never met someone with three stars

    2. c. The CIB is authorized for award for the following qualifying wars, conflicts, and operations:
      (1) World War II (7 December 1941 to 3 September 1945).
      (2) The Korean War (27 June 1950 to 27 July 1953).
      (3) Republic of Vietnam Conflict (2 March 1961 to 28 March 1973), combined with qualifying service in
      Laos (19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962).
      (4) Dominican Republic (28 April 1965 to 1 September 1966).
      (5) Korea on the DMZ (4 January 1969 to 31 March 1994).
      (6) El Salvador (1 January 1981 to 1 February 1992).
      (7) Grenada (23 October to 21 November 1983).
      (8) Joint Security Area, Panmunjom, Korea (23 November 1984).
      (9) Panama (20 December 1989 to 31 January 1990).
      (10) Southwest Asia Conflict (17 January to 11 April 1991).
      (11) Somalia (5 June 1992 to 31 March 1994).
      (12) Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, 5 December 2001 to a date to be determined).
      (13) Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom, 19 March 2003 to a date to be determined).

  3. Yep, he'd been there and done it... Hats off to him!

    1. Makes one humble, meeting someone like that.

  4. Holy batshit, Batman? 99 and still driving? Wowser. But...on the other non-heart attack to cop Fargo-great convo with him. How fun!

  5. OH, and I would have been honored to be in his presence and loved to have heard his stories.