Ben and I both have a grandfather buried at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. We remember them and their service today. I’ve asked our Moms to write a little about their Dad’s service to our country.
Hugh Mingle~by Beth Phillips
In our Mingle Family we have a Veteran who served at the end of World War II. We did not hear many stories of this time in Dad’s life until his last few years. We always knew he served willingly when drafted the day he graduated from high school in Detroit, Mi. He signed on as a Conscientious Objector and wanted to serve as a Chaplain or medic. He was redirected from weapons training to medic training and midway through was given a test which he thought was to be assigned to a ship in the Pacific as a baker. He was called in and told he had done well on the test and assigned to serve in the Adjunct Office in the Oakland Area. This office was processing the returning soldiers, mustering them out of the military. Dad served the last 18 months of the war. When he received his honorable discharge he headed to Searcy, Arkansas to attend Harding College. In his last years Dad suffered dementia and received medical care in the VA hospital in Dallas. On one stay Dad was asked by a veteran who volunteered in the hospital ward what he did in the military. This is Dad’s response:
I was drafted out of high school into the army. Sent to Chicago for induction then on to basic training. The second week they told us we would have bayonet training for the infantry. I went to my superior and told him something was wrong, I signed up for the army but as a medic. I didn’t mind going to the front lines and helping my fellow soldiers off the field but in no way could I learn how to stab anyone to death. I did not mind being on the front lines but to help my comrades. The next day I was in medic training. Had to take a test. Then got sent to the Staff Adjunct Office and worked in that office until all our men got home. That is how the Lord blessed me to get through college and now at this school [VA]. Being a veteran has been a blessing.
Thomas Wingler~by Debbie Leigh
War, what is it good for?
When you think of the general bloodshed and horror, absolutely nothing But when you bring it down to the personal level, I see it a little bit differently. It was during WWII, that my dad enlisted in the Army Air Corps and received, for maybe the first time in his life, three meals a day, new clothes and shoes that fit. He had been an orphan who relied on the generosity of relatives to survive. It was in the armed services that he did more than survive. He thrived. During his service during WWII, Daddy received the training that would become his life’s work. He never retired from being an airplane mechanic.
Another blessing that my dad received from joining the Army Air Corps was being in Washington DC at the same time as an Oklahoma miss who worked as a secretary at the Pentagon. My parents met at the USO. I can’t imagine how a small town girl from Oklahoma and a city boy from New Jersey would ever have met under normal circumstances. I am thankful that my dad volunteered to serve his country when he was a young man. His service not only helped keep airplanes flying, but the circumstances of his service brought him the stable, loving family for which he had always longed.