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The sergeant

     The sergeant


Maitland, Florida

     One late afternoon after we had crossed the Ludendorf railroad bridge at Remagen, I Company 393rd Infantry stopped in a small farming village.

     Our lieutenant and several sergeants set up a command post in a farm house. My platoon sergeant and I went out in the field and began digging a foxhole.

     Unfortunately, I cannot remember the sergeant's name. He had been a paratrooper but had hurt his back, so was unable to jump anymore.

     After volunteering for the infantry, he was assigned to the 99th as a replacement.

     We had almost finished digging the foxhole when a German fighter plane came over the tree tops strafing us as he came toward us.

     The sergeant was hit. He was in agony. I was in tears as I ran for help. We carried him to the farm house and called for the medics.

     The lieutenant, knowing how bad I felt, told me to sleep in the house until we would leave early in the morning. I told him I'd be OK. He said, "No, that's an order."

     Several days later the lieutenant told me the sergeant would be all right. I so much wanted to believe him, that I did believe him.

     I wished many times that I had inquired about the sergeant before leaving Germany for the United States in 1945. I know I did not want to hear that he had lived but would suffer for the rest of his life. And I did not want to hear that he had died.

     He was a good person and a good soldier.

     I know that I will never remember the sergeant's name, but I will always remember the sergeant.