by Lois Jamieson
My older brother Carl was truly a member of journalist Tom Brokaw’s, ‘Greatest Generation’.
Carl graduated from high school in N.W. Pennsylvania in 1942 amid World War II. Within a few months he joined the Army. He became an infantryman and eventually fought in the famed Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944 and 1945. This was the last major offensive of the war. During this time he was shot and was captured by the Germans. His captivity was short lived when the Germans surrendered. He later received the Purple Heart medal.
After the war Carl attended Penn State University and graduated with an Engineering degree. He married in 1952 and fathered two children. He never spoke about his part in this battle. It was as if his war experience never happened. He simply went on with his life.
Until one summer evening in l994.
Carl and his wife Betty were staying with us at our summer home in Flagstaff, Arizona. We had just finished dinner and were talking over a cup of coffee when much to our surprise he started talking about those years. He must have talked, with tears in his eyes, for thirty or forty minutes about his experiences in that terrible war. I’m not sure why he chose that moment to share his story. Many men and women of that generation never talked about it. I’ll always be grateful that Carl chose to share his story with us.
Carl died in 1997 and I miss him terribly.