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The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives, Are often

To the service that he gives.

He was getting old and paunchy

And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought 
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
Fo he lived, such  an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life…

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While papers  note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

In print we read their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys,
Went to battle, but we know......

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some orator
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier, 

Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
The Soldier's does his  part
and clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:

from Annelies Fugler

             ODE TO THE 82nd

Our story began  in Texas                      
In nineteen forty three                             
Our Country was in peril                         
Our job, to keep her free                         
From Cities and towns across the land    
To the Texas countryside                        
You’re combat engineers they said         
Now take this job with pride                    
We climbed aboard a Liberty Ship          
And sailed for the British Isles                 
We did our drills and honed our skills     
We were Soldiers with much style         
Now, one more trip across the sea          
To a place called Omaha                        
Where bombs and shells,                       
they fell like hell                                                  
And we felt the shock and awe

Our fight began in Normandy
Near a city called St. Lo
Clearing mines and building bridges
Fo the Division - 29 "Lets Go'
On to  liberate the city of Vire 
and bridge the river Seine
Begin the pursuit- came the call
your objective. now..the enemy's west wall!

We rolled and rolled across the land
To the home of the wooden shoe
Queen Wilhelmina
We gave  it back to you
We fought the enemy every day
To the River Elbe and on
Where Jerry said I’ve had enough
Don’t shoot no more, we’re done

Although the years have slipped away
Our memories serve us well
We can’t forget those days of old
And stories yet to tell
But now young man, this land is yours
Your job, to keep her free
And hold her in your outstretched arms
From sea to shining sea

Ed. Husted  2008      
Frank West recently shared some of his memories with us. His hand written letter did not copy well. An exact transcript of Franks letter follows

See  Franks memory page  here
Frank West - Staten Island, N. Y.

On February 1 1943 I entered the Army at Camp Upton, N. Y. On Feb. 4, 1943 I left for Camp Swift Texas. I arrived on Feb. 8, 1943 for basic training with the 82nd Engineers Combat Bn.  I was in the 3rd platoon, COC. Lt. Sweeny  was the platoon leader. Some time in May when they were teaching us demolition a delayed fuse killed a lieutenant
and 2 Nco's.
    The end of July 1943, 15 of us from the 82nd were transferred to the 235th Combat Engineers at Camp Gruber, OK., who were preparing for overseas movement. I was processed at Camp Miles Standish, Mass. We sailed from Staten Island Aug. 21, 1943 and arrived at the port of Oran in Africa
Sept. 3, 1943. 6 weeks later we sailed for
Italy arriving on Oct. 28, 1943 and never stopped moving forward except for Casino where we holed up for 5 months.
I was in combat 8 months before the 82nd landed at Normandy June 6, 1944. On June 4, 1944 I was in Rome. When the war ended in Europe May 8, 1945 the 235th was at the top of the boot of Italy.
    On July 19, 1945, we sailed for the Pacific to take part in the war against Japan. 6 days out of the Panama Canal they dropped the bomb and they did it again on the 9th. On the 14th of August (my birthday) the war was over. What a great birthday that was. We landed Sept. 3, 1945 on Luzon. On Nov. 27, 1945 I started for home and was discharged on Dec. 31, 1945 (New Year's Eve) from Fort Dix, N. J. arrived home at 8 pm. Happy New Year. At wars end my platoon had only 8 original men left and 4 of them had Purple Hearts.
    I sent a book of picture of the 82nd to Jack Gallagher and found out that Jack and I grew up in the same block in Brooklyn.


Mike Goltz, grandson of Regis Stegman, (Co. B) receives the flag from the honor guard at Regis funeral in 2007.
This newspaper article appeared in  a Somerset Co., Pa newspaper shortly after:
 (top) Sgt.. Leland Larmon, Pfc. Fred Harned, Pfc Lee Stutzman, T/5 Jay Queer and Cpl Henry Urban
returned home after the war!

On the left is the letter from the French Embassy inviting Fred Harned to Washington to receive the French "LA Leigon d'Honneur"
On February 16, 2011.

Below is the medal Fred received.

To view the remarks of the French  Consul General please click here