On this Veteran’s Day 2013, with thousands of our fellow citizens in faraway lands fighting in our name, I thought I’d share a memory from a long ago veteran that might remind us again of the costs of war, even for those who come home safely.
It was a lovely late spring day in St. Louis 1945. As the war in Europe neared its conclusion, Lieutenant Isham Reavis had just returned home on a 60-day leave from his time in the European theater. There he had been captured, and spent four months in German prison camp before escaping. Then, in a period of ten days as he wandered eastern Europe in search of an American mission, he met and married a member of the Polish resistance.
Though he had returned home safely, he still anxiously awaited word of his new bride’s attempts to escape Soviet occupation and join him in the USA.
The day after his return he grabbed his golf clubs and headed for the municipal course in Forest Park. Golf had long been one of Isham’s escapes, and with a club in his hands and the green grass beckoning, there was nowhere else he’d rather be.
“Couldn’t get farther away from war than playing golf,” he thought, just for a moment without a care in the world.
Playing solo, he had been teamed with a threesome of one man and two women. Each were teachers in their 20’s. They had played six holes, and Isham was about as far off his game as possible. Couldn’t hit a thing, couldn’t putt worth a damn. But it didn’t matter. He was home. (more…)