The Horrors Of War - And Response (2)

Thursday, June 05, 2014

As Dire Straits would say, “Through these fields of destruction, baptisms of fire, I’ve witnessed your suffering.”

The horrors of war pass most of us by without any scarring, any deep thought, but as a child of an injured Normandy invasion soldier, I always thought about wars, any war. 

As a young child, I only knew that we never watched war movies and that my dad had a Purple Heart but I didn’t know his story. As years passed and maybe some of the PTSD, he started talking, maybe he knew when we would be able to understand, but maybe he was just ready to tell the horror of his day. He was on the front lines with the Third Division and had lived through the Omaha beach landing in the Normandy invasion, but a battle up the road, beyond Paris, in a town near the Rhine River, would prove to be his life changing moment.

In mid-August, 1944, he was hit by mortar fire in his left knee. Well, the battle had to continue so he was left behind. His brothers in arms told him to hang on, the medic instructed him how to hang on, as he waited behind the dreaded hedgerow. He spent the day tying a tourniquet on and off, holding on to their words; true words, his brothers returned.  

He was flown to a hospital in England where he would spend four months, and met Bob Hope on one of his USO tours. His leg was badly injured, most likely needing an amputation. The surgeon gave him the news. My dad said, “Doc, do you think you can save it?” He did save it, the leg still has the same pins that have held it together for 70 years. Does it hurt? Yes. Does the other leg hurt due to extra work? Yes. Does he complain or take medicine? No, he still takes a daily walk (weather permitting). 

He will be 93 on June 19 and yes, he is one great guy that lived to tell his story to his family. A family he wouldn’t have unless his brothers in arms hadn’t returned. Many times, a songwriter says it best, please listen to “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits. The song makes me cry, I only ask you to think when you hear it. 

Darlene Doak 

* * * 

Dear Ms. Doak, 

Please hurry over to you Daddy's house and grab a hold of him and squeeze. Do it for me and for everybody in America. We owe these great people so much and time is quickly running out. Hurry.  

What a man! God bless him and thank you so much for sharing that with us. 

Savage Glascock

* * *

Ms. Doak,
 
Your daddy is my hero.  If I knew where he lived I would drive over just to thank him for his bravery and commitment to our country.   

I don't have to be from a military family to understand the meaning of "Brothers in Arms.'  I've listened to Dire Straits for 30 years and am still moved to tears every time I hear this beautiful song.  

Mr. Glascock is right...we do owe the greatest generation everything we enjoy today.  Most notably, our freedom.  

Donna Brocato



Let Teachers Teach

Despite what you hear, everything about public education is not bad. I realize that there are concerns, especially when students from the United States are globally compared to other students from industrialized countries. But when you compare the United States to 50 years ago, there is definitely an improvement. The US Department of Education reports that the country has reached ... (click for more)

Protecting Water Strengthens American Economy

Water is crucial to the U.S. economy, specifically in areas like tourism, manufacturing, energy, recreation and agriculture.  In 2011, $30 billion was spent right here in the southeastern United States by both residents and non-residents of our region who enjoyed getting outdoors to fish, hunt, or simply watch wildlife in our rich and varied streams, forests and estuaries. ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Personnel Losses Boost Other 5-AAA Hoop Teams

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton’s loss has been solid gains for two other basketball teams in District 5-AAA and Ringgold, Ga. One of the Hurricanes’ top players, Kenny Bunton, left the program two days after Rodney English replaced fired Michael Stone and transferred to Walker Valley where he will play for coach Bob Williams’ Mustangs. “I took the job in March and two days ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Memories Of Watching 38 Baylor-McCallie Games

Back in the fall of 1971 when I was in the sixth grade at Bright School, I listened on the radio to the exciting football game between Baylor and McCallie schools, the first since the series had been discontinued after 1940. I was hoping to attend Baylor School as a student the next year, so I was quite excited that Baylor won, 9-7.  And the next year as a seventh-grader, ... (click for more)