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Two Thanksgivings worth remembering

When I was 14, my best friend and I and another acquaintance went hunting behind the levee between our town and the Mississippi River. The acquaintance had a pack of cigarettes and offered one to each of us. (My best friend and I didn't smoke.)

We didn't shoot anything, but by the time we headed home for Thanksgiving dinner, I had smoked four cigarettes. When I arrived home, I was very, very sick. My dad, a pharmacist who kept us healthy with lots of medicine from the store, gave me a dose of castor oil — a great deterrent from smoking.

Needless to say, I missed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my dad, mother, and sister.

Another time, seven years later, in First Army defensive positions in Belgium facing the Siegfried Line, we took turns from our foxholes going back to our kitchen area for Thanksgiving dinner.

We'd been hearing that all the companies along the line would be having roast turkey with all the trimmings.

It was cold and raining, and as we passed down the chow line and held our mess kits out for our turkey dinner, the cooks lobbed in mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and boiled turkey, plus pudding — all piled together in the mess kit. We had to eat standing under the fir trees of the Ardennes Forest with rain dripping from our helmets into our already-mixed-up meal.

Our cooks had never been known to get any awards for their culinary prowess, but that was inexcusable! Neither of these occasions could be considered great Thanksgivings, but they certainly were unforgettable!

Let us all count our blessings!

B.O. Wilkins K/393

Houston TX

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