A Miracle, Perhaps?

I asked my husband, Walt, what came to mind for him on Memorial Day?

It was the year 1945. World War II was nearing an end, but Don, 23 years old at the time, didn’t know that yet. He and three other men were scouting out a small town in Germany that morning. As part of a reconnaissance crew, it was their duty to go ahead of the troops and assess the enemy. As Don stuck his head around a corner, a blast from an enemy rifle took the bottom portion of his face right off and changed his life forever. As he lie motionless, unable to speak, his buddies left him for dead; his body to be picked up later.

It was a few days later, on a Sunday morning, that two soldiers arrived at the door of Don’s parent’s home in Power, Montana. Don’s father, a Lutheran pastor, was preparing for morning services, when the news came that his first-born son had died while serving in Germany. How strong was the faith that held him up while preaching his sermon that morning?

A couple of weeks earlier, Don’s father had written a letter to his son. As was his way back then, he wrote it in German. He told Don that each day, he asked God to watch over his son and keep him out of harm’s way.

When a German couple came upon Don’s body in that war-torn alley, they searched for his identification. They found a letter, smudged with dirt and blood, tucked into the soldier’s breast pocket. What must have gone through their hearts and minds as they read those words, in their native language? A young man’s eyes staring up at their faces, no doubt filled with terror and pain, but no mouth from which to utter a plea for help.  By the grace of God, they gathered him up in their arms and took him to their home, where they sheltered him until he could be evacuated out.

What must that celebration have been like when two soldiers returned to that small parish house in Montana, but this time, with miraculous news!

Don was transferred to a veteran’s hospital in Menlo Park, California, where he spent months undergoing reconstructive surgery. It was there that he met his soon to be wife, even though fraternizing with the nurses was strictly forbidden!

And so it is, that a little boy, only eight years old, growing up in the small town of Power, wrote to his big brother who lie in a hospital bed so far away:

Dear Don,
I and my girl went down to the reservoir ice skating  the other day. We had fun ice skating. When we got home, our pants were wet. I hope you have a good Christmas. Have you got your box yet? That is all I can write. Walter  (January 2, 1946).

So this story ends happily. But so many did not. My heartfelt prayers go out to all those families who have lost loved ones who have served in the armed forces. And to our troops who serve today, and to your families, thank you for your service and God Bless You!

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About susansplace

Widowed in 2012, I am a mother and grandmother. Born in San Francisco, I now live in the town I grew up in: Mill Valley, California. I love nature photography. Just an amateur but that's OK! My goal: world peace. Got any ideas?
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10 Responses to A Miracle, Perhaps?

  1. Thank you…so very much.

    Be encouraged!

  2. susansplace says:

    Thank you, Stephen.

  3. donna says:

    Yes, truly a miracle !!!! What a touching, inspirational story for this Memorial Day…..

  4. Lynn says:

    Now THAT is a Memorial Day story! I just read it out loud to my husband, and could barely speak in some parts. We all must remember the loss of so many families during all the wars both past and present, and the close calls and wounded warriors too. Thanks to Walt for sharing it with you, and for you Sue, for sharing it with all of us! Happy Memorial Day!

  5. Bev says:

    Wait a minute….. Is that YOUR Walter that wrote the letter??? That was EXTREMELY moving…. I could barely read it ……..

    • susansplace says:

      Yes, the story is about Walt’s oldest brother, Don. It’s a true story. And the letter was written by Walt! — He wsunt sech a gud splr back then! 🙂

  6. Charlotte Morse says:

    What a wonderful story! This truly was a miracle! I hope and pray that more people, especially of the younger generation, will come to understand the awful sacrifices that these soldiers made so that we can enjoy our freedom today! God bless the men and women of our armed services, who willingly sacrifice time with their families, in order to serve their country and protect and defend its citizens!

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