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Texas 99'er plans veterans' monument years ago

Texas 99'er plans

veterans' monument

     A popular columnist in the Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote about Charles "Chuck" Katlic — and clippings were forwarded to your Checkerboard editor.

     Katlic served in F/394.

     Jon McConal quotes Katlic as saying, "We were called the Battle Babies. We had no battle experience until we went on the front lines in November. And we fought for 99 days, including the Battle of the Bulge."

     He added, "We never took our shoes off. Never had a shower. We lost as many men from trench foot and frostbite as we did from anything."

     Katlic lives in the tiny Parker County community of Poolville. A flag snaps in the wind on his front lawn.

     He is raising money for a memorial to veterans buried in the Whitt Cemetery.

     He got the idea after reading accounts of how Purple Hearts and other medals were distributed during some recent military campaigns.

     The author continued: "His eyes turned fierce. 'I've got buddies who lost their feet and legs from frostbite. They never got a Purple Heart.' He shook his fist, grabbed and pulled me close. 'I was in the 99th, the infantry. It was mortars and rifles. It was hell. That's all it was. Hell.'"

     There are 70 veterans buried in the tiny cemetery which was established in 1877. It's located north of Weatherford on FR-52.

     Katlic said "Somebody's got to remind young people of what their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers fought for." He added that if Hitler hadn't been beaten, "we'd be slaves."

     The stone marker will cost $7,500. He has raised nearly $2,000. "I'm not going to beg," Katlic said, "If I don't get the rest, I'll take it out of my pocket and retirement."

     His address: Chuck Katlic, 5745 Advance Rd., Poolville TX 76487.