BONUS ARTICLE: ValueSpeak
An Extra Weekly Column
By Joseph Walker
Of course, George had to finish college
first. And there was the little matter
of unrest in the world. As a member of
the Reserve Officer Training Corps, George was duty-bound to help the war
effort if he was needed. But the Army
had promised to allow him to graduate from college before they called him up,
and George and Verda were confident that the trouble
The events of
George was assigned to the 13th
Army infantry as it made its way through
When she received word that George had been killed in combat Verda was devastated. She had known and loved George her whole life, and she couldn’t imagine a future without him. Family and friends tried to encourage and comfort her, but she was inconsolable.
“This isn’t right,” she would say over and over. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
In fact, it DIDN’T happen. At least, not the way she was originally told. George and his patrol had indeed been caught in a treacherous crossfire, and most of his comrades were killed. George was also hit – a German bullet destroyed his right knee. But a medic dragged him to safety, and he was immediately taken to an Army field hospital. Somehow in all the confusion his name was added to the list of the dead. But he was very much alive. In pain, but alive.
Nearly a month passed before the error was corrected and Verda found out that she wasn’t a war widow after all. George was transferred to a stateside hospital, where she could travel to visit her not-so-late husband. By the time he was released from the hospital the war was over, and he returned to Verda, their daughter and that long and happy life they had planned.
These days Verda
doesn’t remember much about the years that have passed since then. She sits in her comfortable chair, surrounded
by many of the beautiful ceramic figurines she has created through the years,
while George – still slightly hobbled by the injuries he received in
“They told me he died,” she says. “But he didn’t really die. Then he came home and we were a family.”
Look for Joe's book, "How Can You Mend a Broken Spleen? Home Remedies for an Ailing World." It is available on-line through www.Amazon.com.