Inner Peace Award

Bronze Star Medal; Decoration of the U.S. Military

Bronze Star Medal; Decoration of the U.S. Military (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AjayTao and Clowie nominated me for this award and it is with great joy that I accept this award on behalf of my beloved Papa.  My papa was 16 when he lied about his age and joined and became part of the Third Army during WWII.  He was a sniper and earned high honors for marksmanship and a bronze star for valor.It is not however, his actions of battle, but rather his action of compassion that merits this award.  It was bitter cold in France.  Many of the soldiers had inadequate food, clothing, boots……because Papa, “Country” as his buddies called him, was one of those gentle, kind, funny, deceptively slow moving youngsters, he became a great favorite with all.

One day, he was in the mess tent grabbing a quick bite.  In front of him was a thin, shivering young man in a wet uniform, limping his way through the line.  Papa looked down and saw he was wearing wet, ragged socks.  During war and especially in winter, your feet are all important to guard and care for.  Papa asked the young man where his boots were and was shocked when he was told, “I haven’t had boots for several weeks, just socks.”  Then and there, Papa left the tent and went to the quartermaster and begged boots, dry socks, dry pieces of uniform.  He returned to the tent and gave to the young man who began to cry at the gift.  He asked Papa’s name and thanked him.

A few days later, Papa was going through a field of wounded soldiers for “clean up duty”.  He looked down into the dead face of the young man.  At the body recovery tent, Papa was called in and given a small bundle.  It consisted of a handkerchief, a bar of soap in army issue soap box, a stub of a pencil, and a New Testament stained with blood.  Inside, the young man had written that his belongings were to be given to my father.  “I have no family and he was more than a brother to me.”  I still have these items today, just as Papa handed them down to me.

Years later, Papa finally told some of the war stories.  He only told this one once and he wept the whole time.  He shook with sobs as he said, “At least his feet were warm.”

My Papa survived hell but with a tear in his soul that never fully healed.  In spite of this, he was a loving man.  Serene, gentle, funny….at peace with the world his God had created.  Birds were not afraid of him, all animals fell under his spell, babies reached out their trusting arms to him.  He spent his life loving and taking care of those who could not care for themselves.  His sapphire blue eyes reflected heaven and in spite of everything, you could look in his eyes and see peace and gratitude.

So this award is really for my Papa.  It was given to me by Ajay and Clowie – two other gentle sousl. T thank them for this award. I thank God’s grace for giving me the peace of knowing His love is constant, just like my earthly Papa.

May you all find peace within.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 20:26:53

    What an incredible story! Thanks for sharing. And I am thankful for the gentle souls like your father. Blessings and peace….

    Reply

  2. Summer
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 12:12:17

    Thanks for paying it forward. Peace! : )

    Sweet greetings, Summer

    Reply

  3. Trackback: June 6, 1944 and My Papa | kanzen sakura
  4. el34ax7
    Jun 06, 2014 @ 23:09:58

    Amazing. There’s nothing like a good cry; the kind of cry that makes you weep with humanity, not for it. Your Papa was a compassionate man, and that’s something we all aspire to be. I’ll be contemplating “At least his feet were warm” for years to come.

    Thank you for recalling my attention to this.

    Amazing.

    Reply

  5. Let's CUT the Crap!
    May 25, 2015 @ 13:05:08

    This is a stunning story. No-one can read this and not be moved. Thank you for sharing, Kanzen. ❤

    Reply

  6. Mary
    May 25, 2015 @ 18:16:06

    What a wonderful honor…and well deserved!

    Reply

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