By Charles Towne

I was born in 1934.  Eventually, really just a blink in time, the United States was dragged into what was to be known as the “second world war.”  

Because of having a family daddy was exempted from the draft so he worked as a welder in the shipyards at Seneca Illinois building LST’S, otherwise known as landing craft.

The war didn’t impact folks all that much on the home front other than for the inconvenience of rationing because certain commodities such as gasoline and tires were in short supply, as was sugar.  Those especially were items needed in the war effort I suppose.

One of daddy’s friends needed new tires for his farm truck but somebody figured they needed the tires more, so when dad’s friend went out in the morning the truck was sitting there on the ground, and the new tires were gone.  Oh well, easy come, easy go.

The war didn’t mean much to me until the night daddy came home from work with a guest.  Daddy had seen the man hitchhiking, which really wasn’t all that strange, except for the fact that the young man was in uniform and on crutches.  He had been wounded overseas and was now on his way home.

That night mama fed the stranger and then she put some blankets on the sofa for him.  Daddy and Mama and the young soldier sat and visited that night and eventually they went to bed.  I was fascinated to note that our guest had an artificial leg that was laying on the floor next to the sofa.

When I got up in the morning I was disappointed because daddy had taken our guest to the bus station so he could continue his journey home.

It has been said that war is hell, and I guess it is.

After all of these years, I suppose the young soldier is long gone but he will always live in my memory, a hero.

I wonder what happened to him?  What sort of life did he live? Did he marry his childhood sweetheart?  Did he have kids?

Eventually, the war was over.

Life goes on.

Praise God for our heroes.  Praise God for this wonderful country.  Praise God from all our blessings flow. Amen

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. So many unsung heroes have come and gone, but God knows
    each and every one of them.
    I am so grateful for people like your parents, Chuck, who took them in to feed them and help them on their way.
    My grandparents did the same thing and it left a big impression on my mother, who was young at the time. Thank you Lord for kind people willing to give a hand to those who were willing to protect this country. God bless them all.

  2. Dear CSG, every war has its unsung heroes. We never could have realized victory if it hadn’t been for folks like your grandparents and my parents, hundreds of thousands of diligent men and women that worked in the factories, contributing what they could to the war effort to preserve our freedom and way of life. Praise God for people like Rosy the riveter, the medical personal, and all the other faithful, so many of whom never came home. Bless you my friend, Chaz

  3. Thank you NH, there are always those faithful ones that stand at the forefront ready to give their all. What do we owe them if not our all. Bless you dear friend. Chaz

  4. Herb, imagine that we were born in a third world country. Imagine that we were born in a culture where we had nothing. Imagine that we were born without an opportunity for an education or medical care. Imagine we were born in a socialist or a communist country. Imagine we did not have freedom of religion, and then remember that there are elements in our grand country that are determined to crush and destroy our freedoms. Imagine

  5. Freedom is not free and we need to be ever grateful for those who who sacrifice, some making the ultimate sacrifice, to keep our country free. Cheers to you for taking the time to author this article honoring our country’s heroes.

  6. Dear Mike, , thanks to all that have been in the forefront of the battle for freedom and liberty, God bless us all and keep us true to the principles upon which our great country was founded. Your friend, Chaz

  7. There is going to come a time when war will be a thing of the past, when men will live their lives according to God’s great and perfect design, and that time is swiftly approaching.

  8. Everyone gave something, some gave everything! That is a veterans mantra I have heard often and it is very true! Nobody comes back from war unchanged! My guess is your soldier left his leg and parts of his soul there as well!. I also am fairly certain that he did not consider himself a hero, just an citizen doing his duty for his country. Your parents were a true blessing to that young man, showing love and compassion I believe he would have remembered always. Many years ago
    when I first came to florida,around thank mom and I would go to the navy base and invite 1 or 2 recruits for a home cooked holiday meal. I will always think of the gratitude those young men expressed on finding someone who would do that while they were so far from home! You are right on target Chaz when you pray for God’s blessings and protection on our men and women who are serving and have served!

  9. Richard, you are so right when you say that everyone gave something. As much as I regret saying it that was a different time, it seems that people were much more compassionate in the forties. Then, in more recent times, even though we know it happened it is certainly hard to understand that our men could come home in great need of love but they were spit on by the very people they were fighting for. Please Father, help us to epitomize your love to all men, at all times, in all ways. Bless you, Chaz

  10. A tragic fact is that not all war injuries are visible. A recent report states that 20.6 suicides are committed every day by veterans and other active-service men and women (more among women) suffering from PTSD – that amounts to 6,132 veterans and 1,387 service members who died by suicide in one year. Tragic.

  11. To Judith Hankes, You are so correct! It is a big problem that is all to often glossed over! There is a veyeran run t-shirt company that sell a shirt with a simple design, a large number 22 on the front, which refers to the average number of vets that die every single day of the year due to suicide, lack of access to adequate medical care, or of any of several preventable circumstances. Thank you for keeping this from being forgotten!

  12. Thank you, Charles. The toll on the veterans (Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines, Coast Guard) in our extended families includes suicide, alcoholism, heart disease that hampered employment , mental illness requiring hospitalization, lost of body parts. And to think that the last two wars in VietNam and Iraq were started on the basis of inaccurate information.

  13. Erney, and this should be cause enough for great diligence in what we say. Thanks for making me think a little deeper. Blessing on you and yours, Chaz

  14. I have often wondered what has happened to people whose lives I have attempted to influence in a positive way. Your article brings it home. Keep them coming to Charlie


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