Friday, October 14, 2011
I took this photo back in March of this year. We were having a neighborhood block party that evening and were celebrating Jeremy's 20th birthday. The weather was perfect, so many people turned out, the food was delicious, and Jeremy's birthday cake was great. We really love our neighbors. It's like a family.
Well, Jeremy got a very special present that day that no one expected. No, it wasn't a video game or iPad or some other tech toy. Bill Peebles, a WWII veteran, gave his service medals to Jeremy. He loves the kid. I don't like tooting our own horn, but Jeremy is one of those rare kids (young adults!) who loves helping others, is totally respectful to everyone, and just tries living out what he reads about in his Bible. Bill wanted Jeremy to have his medals because he knew that Jeremy would understand their importance and appreciate what they mean to Bill and future generations. Neither Jeremy, nor us, knew what to say
Bill, now in his late 80s, joined the army at about Jeremy's age. Bill served in the 36th Infantry "Texas" Division. He was a .30cal machine gunner. He served in North Africa, then hit the beaches during the invasion of Salerno, Anzio, fought at Monte Cassino, captured Rome, nearly froze to death in Southern France, was wounded a number of times, then joined the Air Commandos, got shot down over Germany, survived, and then made his way back to the USA. An amazing life the likes I cannot imagine living. He considered it just another day.
Sadly, the doctors gave Bill a bleak diagnosis this past week. It looks like his days of service here on Earth are coming to an end very soon. Jeremy and Robin (my wife) are visiting with him right now as I type this. He still has some time. He's still the spunky fellow we've known for the past several years. But...
Just got a phone call from Jeremy! Bill wants to tell his story to Jeremy and wants him to write it all down, all of his adventures during WWII. Jeremy is an excellent writer, who has already written two novels. So who knows where the Lord will be taking this! Jeremy is excited. So am I!
Ok, time to wrap this up. I'll probably be posting more about Bill Peebles in the coming weeks. So just say a small prayer for Bill and all our veterans of the Greatest Generation. We are quickly losing so many good men who gave so much for us all.