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Excerpt of Thrasher's book: When I was a bad boy

I've not always been such a sweetheart like I am now. Believe it or not, back when I was 19, I could be a real jerk. I remember an incident when I was in the infantry in Germany in 1945.

We had been chasing a German Army horse outfit for hours. We were riding on tanks, so you could say we should have caught them easily. However, they would leave a gun behind every now and then. When we came around a turn on a hillside or went over a hilltop, they would fire on us. It would be hard to knock the gun out, so the horses would get a good head start.

I remember once that day I was lying near some trees, and an anti-tank gun laid a shell right beside me. The explosion was so forceful I remember it nearly rolled me over.

Just before dark we finally caught up with them in a small town with a high embankment and a railroad on top. The only way out of town was through a narrow tunnel under the railroad. We were smarter than Indians chasing a stagecoach for hours but not catching anything. We shot the horses in the tunnel and captured the outfit.

I remember a young, beautiful girl had run out to see what was going on. A piece of shrapnel hit her leg, and she was bleeding and screaming. All the medicine an infantry company carries with them is the Pfc. medic with some band-aids and anti-infection pills. Poor little girl. Things like that happened around us all the time.

That night, I couldn't sleep because I kept hearing the horses. They were still hooked up to various things and some had been wounded. I had been raised around horses on a farm, so I got up and unharnessed them, letting them run free. I then decided to check out the wagons. One was a two-wheeler holding a huge cooking pot/furnace combination which enabled them to cook on the move.

Checking around some more, I found the headquarters wagon. It had the best automatic pistol I had ever laid eyes on. I also found in the wagon a large, metal box with the payroll inside. I found fresh German money with the bands still holding it together. Quickly, I filled up the pockets of my field jacket and my pants until they could hold no ore. What I did with the money will take a few more stories.

The next day, my buddy and I were walking around the town. We discovered a huge factory that had not been damaged, so we went inside to check it out. No one was around, except the manager. He showed us his credentials, all the while telling us how important he was, that we should leave and not damage anything. I sure wouldn't have wanted to work for him. He sat in his chair at a big desk, in his big office, with a big glass-framed picture of Hitler hanging on the wall behind him.

The manager was such a creep. I couldn't stand him, so I pulled out my new pistol and told him I hadn't fired it yet. I emptied the gun, aiming at the glass-framed picture. The glass flew all over the creep and his big desk. It's amazing how fast creeps can turn into sweethearts like me. But he did.

I know a few creeps I would like to treat the same way — some who let me know how they despise soldiers, especially low-life moron infantry soldiers like me. If I wasn't such a sweetheart, they would be covered with flying glass.

I wonder if a sweetheart can turn back into a real bad boy jerk?

Bob (Uncle Joe) Thrasher L/395

PO Box 113

Harrodsburg IN 47434