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Contributions From Our Readers

 By Terry D. Janes

 

I get emails of gratitude ever so often.  Recently, I got a rather nice "thank you".  I was working at my computer on the website one day, when I glanced outside to see an elderly gentleman I didn't recognize, approaching my front door.  I greeted him, and he asked for Terry Janes.  I replied that I was he, and asked what I could do for him.  He said his name was Richard "Dick" Land.  He told me that he had been in the 319th Regiment of the 80th Infantry Division in World War Two.  Since the war, he had only met one other 80th Veteran.  He thought that he was the only one left, and that no one remembered or cared what he and the men of the 80th did back then.  Then, he found this website.  He only lives a couple miles from me, and when he realized that, he just had to come and meet me, and tell me thanks.  He had tears in his eyes as he expressed his sincere gratitude.  My eyes welled up, and I suddenly discovered that talking was difficult with that big lump in my throat.  Yes folks, I am human.  I live in a modest urban home and pay for most of this project out of my pocket and from whatever I can sell to keep it going.  There's no corporation, no secretarial pool, just me, doing what I can.  So the "Thank you" I got from this old man really meant the world to me!  I later arranged for him and another 319th Regiment man, Bill Krehbiel to meet here at my house.  I have printed a 80th Association membership form out for Dick, and gave him my 80th Reunion materials.  He has promised to join the Association and will try to attend this year's reunion.  Dick is anxious to see his 80th comrades again after 60 years.  He is also thrilled to know that he is not the last Blue Ridger after all, and that people do care and remember.  Dick was kind enough to share the following photos with us.

 

This was where Dick went through Basic Training before joining the 80th

 

 

These were shot at war's end in Austria

  

 

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