Write Again … ‘No man is an island’

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There’s a section in the American Legion magazine each month titled “Comrades” where they will publish reunion notices; and also one called “In Search Of” which is self-explanatory.

A year or so ago, I submitted several notices for publication in “In Search Of” hoping I just might connect with someone from my service days and those shared experiences.

I cited my time with I Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Knox (May-November ‘59); L Troop, 3rd Battalion, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; and the 502nd Armored Medical Company, attached to the 11th Cav., Fort Skelly, Regensburg, Germany (November ‘59-April ‘62).

Two other notices I submitted were the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Black Horse football team, Straubing, Germany (‘60) and the VII Corps Jayhawks football team, Stuttgart, Germany (‘61).

Most veterans will agree that TDY (temporary duty) is a wonderful experience.

Well, I received a few responses to my notices in the magazine, but not from anyone that I really knew or remembered. A few I shared proximity with, but didn’t really know.

Then, I received a phone call from a very nice woman. She gave her name, said she lived in Texas, and her late husband played on the ‘61 VII Corps football team. She said his name was Norm Noble. Did I possibly remember him?

Oh, yes. Of course, I did. Norm was a quiet fellow, played in the line, was from Texas and had played at Texas A&M. We had shared almost four months together with some 40 or so others. Good duty. Good experiences.

She told me that Norm talked about those times a lot (we all do … just ask our wives). She said that Norm died in 1976.

Her real joy in connecting with me was that she could now tell their two daughters that she had “met” someone who had known their Dad, and who had shared a time that meant so much to him. She seemed really excited that she could tell this to their girls.

Of course, that exchange meant a lot to me as well.

We are, indeed, a part of all we have known, and all we have experienced.

And now, we have our memories.

Let us be thankful.