Wow! Something to cherish. I envy the friendship you shared with him.
This is a discussion on Little guns for free within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A Friend of mine shows up at the house with a briefcase. We shoot the breeze for awhile and talk about one of the old ...
A Friend of mine shows up at the house with a briefcase.
We shoot the breeze for awhile and talk about one of the old guys that we attended church with. He was a WW2 vet, a great guy, and although I knew of him, for awhile I didn't really know him. That is, until he decided that due to his age and failing health, he needed a CHL. Someone directed him to me, and I enrolled him in one of our classes.
Though that class, I came to know him and we became friends. He was an interesting guy, and we would often see each other at church and make our way to each other to visit. Since we both attended a fairly large church where it is easy for someone to slip away without ever seeing them, sometimes it took alot of effort to meet each other since we usually sat on opposite sides of the church. Somehow, though, we always managed to visit.
Since he liked to shoot, I invited him to join our local gun club, which he was happy to do. He became a regular there, and rapidly made friends with some of the older retired guys that would show up on Thursday morning and they would all shoot to their hearts content, often shooting silhouettes and just trying to outdo each other on the bullseye targets. As always, there was much good humored ribbing and kidding going on, and he loved to show up there to "fellowship" as he called it.
Eventually, I came to know his wife and we too became friends. She was as solid as a woman could get, old school, with bright eyes and a keen sense of humor. Between the both of them, they were living history. As a young man he enlisted in the Army and became an electrician on a B-17, where he completed many mission on runs over Europe. When I asked him if he volunteered for that, he laughed and said that he got volunteered. He had just got out of electrical school and found out that he was replacing a man that was killed on a run over Belgium, several of the crew were killed and the plane was shot up badly enough that they scrapped it and used it for parts.
Other than that, he never really spoke much about it.
One day he invited me and the wife over for a barbecue.Being one that could probably eat my weight in barbecue, naturally, I accepted.
We ate till we couldn't eat anymore and went into his living room where it just so happened that the History channel was on. As luck would have it, a program about Bomber crews over Europe came on and he started talking about it. He knew all the details and it occurred to me that he was speaking about it from experience. He left for a few minutes and showed me an old aging scrapbook of photos that he had from the war. In it were pictures of his friends,some of which were circled. That circle meant that person had been killed in action and it was apparent that there were at least as many, if not more, of those circled than weren't.Talking about them he would choke up and tear up, and he told me that he remembered it like yesterday and often had a hard time believing that it was so long ago.He apologized profusely,and said that he had never quite gotten over that. I was completely awed and felt honored that he told me about his travels and times in the Army.
As happens with age, my friend passed away a year or so ago and went on to better things. I was deeply saddened at his passing, as he was my friend.
His wife wont be long in joining him now, and she tells everyone that she cant wait to see him again. She leaves instructions for the guy coming to see me, to bring all of the guns that she owns to me, because that is what her husband wanted. He had told her before he passed that he wanted someone that could appreciate them to have them and he figured I would appreciate them.
And I do.Greatly.Not so much for the guns themselves, but as a reminder of the man that owned them. A gentleman,a patriot that did what he needed to do when he was called to do so, a man with a great sense of Honor,Charity,Faith,Responsibility and with a crystal clear work ethic, a man that valued the things in this life that really matter, part of the "Great Generation" as Tom Brokaw wrote about. I count the fact that I knew him as one of life's blessings.
They are a dying breed and it wont be long until the only things left of them are seen in their sons, daughters, grand children and even great grandchildren.
So,here is what showed up,a briefcase full of handguns.
A Taurus 7 shot .38
Phoenix Arms .22
Czech Markarov 9x18
PA 63 Czech 9x18
VP20 Czech 7.65
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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Wow! Something to cherish. I envy the friendship you shared with him.
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."- Robert A. Heinlein
Thanks for a touching story. I have tremendous respect for those guys, and I've never known one that made me question that.
Yesterday's old friends, are not like today's young friends...'friendship' has changed down through the years...anyone having a 'true' friend today is especially lucky.
A touching story, a gift to remember, for sure.
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
Just remember, one day you'll be seeing him again and you'll have to give account for what you did with those guns!
That is a really great gift though, congratulations!
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
"A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
hope to be a blessing like that someday
Thank you for sharing that touching story.
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
You are a fortunate man to have had a friend of that stature.
"The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper
"Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."
Something to cherish.
I have 2 guns from a friend that passed on and they are used often and of course he is well thought of.
These old guys are the greatest! I have become friends with several WWII vets and the stories they would tell would sometimes send chivers down your spine and some would tickle your funny bone. One story in particular was this friend of mine was a P-38 pilot. He was straffing a Jap distroyer when he was blinded by the flash of his nose cannons and his wing tip struck the conning tower of the ship. His plane was pitched into the water and he told of how they, the Japs, turned the ship around several times trying to run him over. He spent 39 hours in the sea before being rescued. God Bless every one of our vets, past and present! You had a special relationship with your friend, as I did mine, and it will be forever in our hearts!
"Brains before Bullets"
+1 to what Angel said. Great story, thanks for sharing. And a big thanks to all the men who served at any point in history.
Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
My Grandfather served in WWII in Europe. Thanks for the story. Brought a tear to my eye thinking of my Grandfather. Thanks again for the memorys!
Thank You. It made me think of some of the good Friend's I had and miss. To have something of a Friend is a great thing to remind You of them.