With a firm handshake, the elderly gentleman introduced himself as “jumpin” Jack. His nickname derived from his new hobby: sky diving. Jumpin Jack still has a zest for life at 95 years young.
It was a Fourth of July honor to meet Jack, hear his story, and thank him for his service. Young Jack served in the army during WW II at the Battle of Antwerp in Holland and the Battle of the Bulge in Germany. He returned home in October 1945 with a Bronze Star Medal and a story too difficult to tell.
My path intersected with Jack’s at the assisted living facility where he and my 90-year old aunt reside. His service and sacrifice reminded me to look beyond the fireworks and red-white-blue to remember: all gave some but some gave all.
Jack was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal for his heroic efforts in World War II and the liberation of France. He took command as a gunner in Germany and destroyed an enemy observation point, saving thousands of American lives. “I was a corporal gunner and I just did my duty, but the French government was very grateful for liberating them. They recognized how wonderful it was to be free.”
The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.~Thomas Campbell
From the brave and scrappy militia in 1775 to drafted teenagers like Jack and his buddies shipped overseas in 1944. All gave some but some gave all so we could experience how wonderful it is to be free.