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MADDOG 09-07-2010 10:09 PM

The Old Man
I have had the honor and privilege to know two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, one who was awarded the medal for his actions in Italy during WWII and one who was awarded the medal for his actions in Vietnam in 1969.

You wouldn't know it by looking at them but those two men went above and beyond the call of duty. I have a medal or two myself from my service days and I can tell you from personal experience, personal bravery is often unnoticed in the Fog of War.

This story warmed my heart, whether or not it is true, because I can see it happening some day, some where.


As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a few steps towards him.

I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, 'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.

He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.

He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me

One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name were the words, 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence.

Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America.

Thanks to those who served & thanks to those who supported them.

RootBeer 09-07-2010 10:27 PM

Great story, thanks for posting it.

brad12kx 09-07-2010 10:40 PM

Whether or not it is based on a real event doesn't matter, as I am sure that type of scenario has happened many times. From my personal experiences, marines (including ex-marines) are some of the most true to heart and helpful people I have ever meet.
Thanks Maddog for posting is a heart warmer! :smileup:

USAF ram 09-16-2010 02:13 AM

Most older military tend to be helpful. The younger kids today disappoint me in so many ways.

iRESQu 09-16-2010 08:57 AM

Very nice story, whether it be true or not, there is something to be learned from it. Thank you Michael.

dodgeman70592 09-16-2010 09:53 AM

Great story, thanks for posting that Michael

CajunDodge 09-16-2010 10:09 PM

True or not doesn't matter, that is an awesome story, thanks for posting that Michael!

- Cajun

Powerback73 09-17-2010 10:26 PM


Originally Posted by USAF ram (Post 311351)
Most older military tend to be helpful. The younger kids today disappoint me in so many ways.

This is very true. The recruiters are digging deep to get their numbers, and more and more shit bags are making their way into the military.

stewbeef94 09-18-2010 07:17 PM

Being a young soldier myself only 22 I see the shit bags every day. It makes me angry that an NCO can't do punish or anything to our troops. Because of a kinder gentler army. It's BS. Leaders having to worry about negative actions against them for correcting a soldier that was wrong. IMO the old days should be back. Damn kids need to learn respect. Basic training is a joke now i hear new troops coming in telling me there basic training war stories and its all jokes. How can young soldiers expect to go into combat with no discipline and no regard for anyone but themselves. But thats just my opinon

RamTech 09-18-2010 08:25 PM

Bring back "wall to wall" counseling, and the discipline problems will vanish!

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