Reunion at Little Rock was humbling experience
I had the privilege of attending the 99th Infantry Division Association reunion as a guest of Don Rader. It was humbling to see the men who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and hear some of their stories. The memorial service was very touching. I think unless the stories are told and recorded, and the memories understood, the impact of the valor of the survivors and those who died directly or as a result of the war will be lost. The grandchildren should be told. I'm sure after talking with some that the anger and fear felt by some cannot be shared.
I found out today that a patient of mine had a brother mentioned in the reading at the memorial service, Bob Boerstler, who grew up in Henryetta OK.
I did not get to talk to my father about his experiences during the war as he died at a young age, but have read books of personal experiences of other soldiers. My brother obtained the written company daily report of the 493rd Clearing Company where my father served and its commendations. My father, when told the army docs just experimented on the wounded, replied, "Damn right we did, because no one taught us that the human body could be so torn up and we did what we could to save lives."
Again, I am humbled to have been at the reunion. Regardless of how the Army splits the units, you will always be the 99th Infantry Division. Thank you for the experience.
Thomas C. Alexander M.D.
1212 S. Belmont
Okmulgee OK 74447