Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Gerald's Uncle Frank is a World War II veteran; he was in the Battle Of the Bulge and was a prisoner of war. For his birthday Gerald ordered a flag which had been flown over the U.S. Capitol and gave it to him on his most recent birthday.

I wanted to learn a great deal about the war from him and I deluged him with questions. I asked him if any of the movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Band Of Brothers were accurate depictions. He said they were very accurate except that G.I.s did not talk like that. I asked, "Like what?" He said, "We didn't curse."

Of course I didn't believe him but I asked, "Do you remember Norman Mailer's The Naked And The Dead? He had to create a word for the book because the censors wouldn't let him use the real word the soldiers used; his word was F-U-G!"

Uncle Frank isn't a person to be corrected, and answered, "I was there and you weren't." I thought, "Well, I've read hundreds of accounts.", but decided that Falstaff was right about the better part of valor being discretion, and I did not dispute him.

Uncle Frank continued that he was in the Army four years and never heard another soldier curse.

I asked, "Do you remember Ernie Pyle?" He answered, "Of course I remember him." I said, "He got so sick and tired of hearing profanity and especially the "f-word", that in one of his letters to his wife he wrote that he was so f-ing tired of hearing that f-ing word for every f-ing thing!"

Uncle Frank had an hilarious response, "That must have been in the Pacific."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was Uncle Frank a chaplain? ML