Why protecting our republic is so vital
Well…I didn’t think I’d be back so soon with a blog, but in keeping with Eiffion’s last piece on WWI, I wanted to share with you the story of my dad, Babe. Babe was his nickname—his given name was Joseph John. He was born In Philadelphia to an Italian-American father and a Polish mother. He lied about his age to enlist in WWII because the horrors being played out on the European War stage, ate away at him. So, with false age papers in hand, he enlisted in the Army at age 17. He was stationed at Calais France under General Patton, in the 106th Division. These boys from South Philadelphia (where Babe lived) had no clue what they were up against.
The 106th Division was comprised of young men, boys really, who barely made it through High School, let alone be foist to make war against seasoned war professionals and criminals. The Boys from the 106th battled career Nazis and SS. Babe was wounded in the Black Forrest. He was hit by shrapnel catapulting off of a bomb. His left arm hung by a few veins and artery and he packed it with mud. A friend urinated on it for sterilization. His stomach was blown open and his spleen destroyed. He passed out after the mud packing and awoke on a pile of dead men—all from the 106th. He must have made a noise and was pulled from the pile of passed souls and sent to a medical facility. When he came to, he had his spleen removed, almost all of his large and small intestine removed but still had use of his arm. I will always remember the deepness of that scar—a skin indentation that was left as a reminder.
Babe was a sharpshooter and earned many military badges including two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He never spoke ill of the Army or the War and loved to watch old black and white movies. He was a proud man, a decent man, and a parent I still miss every day. His war wounds eventually caught up with him—he suffered for years from what the VA called “stomach adhesions” but I think that’s where his terminal cancer sprung from. He would have to go into the hospital periodically when I was a young child and have his stomach pumped of green poison. I believe that’s where the cancer started. When he was 53, he was given 6 months to live. He lived for 3.5 more years. Babe was born July 17, 1923 and died December 16, 1979 at the age of 56.
The portrait was painted by a German soldier my dad had captured. As a platoon Sargent he took care of his prisoners and treated them well. This particular man sketched the portrait on a paper bag because my dad bought him a pack of cigarettes. I asked my dad, “was he an SS Soldier?” He smiled. Didn’t respond at first and then said, “well I can tell you we wouldn’t buy them a pack of smokes….”
This blog is to his memory and all those who sacrificed their lives to protect the world from tyranny, despots, dictators and all those who spread hate to illicit heinous outcomes from their followers. Our Democratic Republic stands firm to protect all.
That’s it for now. Have a wonderful day,
Wynne Moishe’s Mom on Twitter.