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Steven J. Newton

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TIMES GONE BY
August 29, 2005

USA as flag

There was an elderly man driving down the Interstate, doing a sedately 50 MPH. He seemed unaware of the looks he got as car after car passed him. He happened to be the first one who saw, off the side of the road, a terrible accident that had just occurred. Pulling over to the shoulder as best he could he made his way down the embankment to the smoldering vehicle.

As he arrived he saw a young family trapped inside and he worked frantically to get the door open. Finally with one last pull, using all his strength, the door opened and he started to pull the family out. His chest was on fire with pain but he could not stop. He finally pulled the last person out. A little girl with a terrible cut on her forehead.

As he tried to stop the bleeding he had a hard time holding the piece of cloth to her head because of the massive scars on his hands. The paramedics arrived and roughly pushed the old man out of the way.

“Sir, you need to return to your vehicle and leave this to the professionals.”

As the old man, holding his chest, climbed back up the hill:

A loud blast. Fire and smoke and the screams of people caught in the explosion. Grabbing his med kit he ran directly into the fire of the burning helicopter. Men were trapped inside but he wrenched the door open and dragged the men out one by one.

As the Huey burned in the background, he administered first aid despite serious burns on his hands.

His citation read . . . For bravery and professionalism above and beyond the call of duty, and having saved the lives of...

An old man pulled up to the quick shop to buy a pack of cigarettes, when he noticed several young men dressed in gang colors robbing the store. He only had the use of one arm but he calmly walked in and told them that they were all under arrest. They laughed so hard that they did not notice the police arrive.

After their arrest, an officer told the old man that he had needlessly placed his life in danger and that he could be arrested for interfering. As the old man climbed back into his car:

He heard the sound of gun fire. Pulling his .45 he ran directly toward his fellow Military Police officers that were exchanging gunfire with a terrorist they had stopped at a check point. Seeing an officer down, he covered him with his own body, despite taking a round through his arm.

His citation read . . . For bravery in the line of fire and placing his life in danger to protect his fellow soldiers...

An old man sat in his porch swing talking with his grandchildren. He was always considered the “kook” of the family and the kids had a good time making fun of him. They would make faces and throw food at him while he told his rambling stories. One piece of candy hit the old man on the side of his head:

“Then, while we climbed up the sand at Omaha Beach, my best friend was hit in the head. I dragged him to a rock but I don't think he made it. I never saw him again.

I continued forward with my platoon and when we got bogged down by machine gun fire, I got so mad at just sitting there, watching as my friends were being chewed to pieces, I finally got up, grabbed all the grenades I could carry and charged up the hill. Killed a bunch of the Krauts that day I tell ya.”

When all his grandchildren had left, the old man went to his study and sat by the fire. Above the mantel was framed the Silver Star for bravery.

An elderly women pulled into the handicapped parking space at Wal-Mart and had a rough time getting out of her car. As she was using her cane to walk into the store, several young people began to jeer her for taking a space so close to the store, while they had to walk.

She ignored them and continued on . . . The young nurse ignored the mortar rounds dropping around her as she tried desperately to evacuate her wounded. She loaded man after man inside trucks until there were none left. As she climbed aboard the last truck, a piece of shrapnel pierced her leg to the bone . . . It would bother her the rest of her life.

The old man sat all by himself in the nursing home. No one ever came to see him and he had not said a word in years. He was confined to a wheelchair but never asked for assistance from anyone. He could feed himself, and relieve himself, so the nurses looked upon him as an ideal resident. He was no trouble at all.

The old man had been this way for as long as anyone could remember and even on holidays he would sit and stare off into space. Every so often he would shiver as if cold. He could be found most days in the home's chapel, praying.

Finally one day the old man died. No one claimed his body and no one mourned him. The were loading him into a hearse for burial in the city cemetery, when a large convoy of military vehicles arrived.

Surprised, residents of the home looked on as an Army General came in and asked for the body. He was to be buried at Arlington under a stone engraved with the Christian Cross . . . And under that, the symbol of the Medal of Honor.

NEVER FORGET

Dedicated to:

Adam Thomas.....KIA/Afghanistan/August 31, 2003 - OEF
Chad Fuller..........KIA/Afghanistan/August 31, 2003 - OEF
Evan O'Neill.........KIA/Afghanistan/September 29, 2003 OEF

Steven J. Newton
Copyright 2005
http://www.stevenewtonbestofthebest.com/

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