Once upon a time there were a group of young men (and women) who accepted the call to fight for and protect freedom around the world. They came together from all different backgrounds, walks of life and countries world wide. I would like to introduce you to one such man, a man that was our friend and whom we love greatly, his name was Mr. Charles Pike. He never really talked much about his time in the war. I believe that sometimes, even in his 80's, the memories and the pain were just to hard to bear. I would like to tell you just a little bit about what he told us and by way of his story I hope to introduce you to The Greatest Generation.
Mr. Pike left his home in North Carolina to fight the Nazi's in Europe. He was a machine gun man. What that means is he was responsible for part of the set up of the gun. He was what he called the tripod man, he was the first out to set up the footing for the gun and the other men would follow behind. He saw many battles and watched his friends die. I remember one story in particular he told us. He was sitting in a tank just sort of keeping an eye on things, his shift was just about up, but no replacement had come. His commanding officer came to tell him that he would be taking his place and to go get some rest. Mr. Pike said that he remembered it just like it was yesterday. He hadn't been out of that tank but just a few minutes when it was bombed and his commanding officer was killed. He always told us that he was so very fortunate and blessed, that God had looked after him the whole time.
Mr. Pike was one of the greatest men I have ever known. He went to war willingly to fight and defeat a very evil man and his armies. Mr. Pike would have told you that he wasn't anything special, that he was just doing the right thing. I say he was remarkable and I am so glad that my family had a chance to know him.
According to statistics, our World War II vets are dying at a rate of approximately 492 a day. I wonder how many of them live alone or in nursing homes? How many of them would love to have a visitor, someone to talk to and tell their story to? I know that I miss Mr. Pike so much and would love to have the chance to talk with him again. I also know that he loved Jesus, was saved and is in Heaven right now. One day we will see each other again and we will have eternity to just visit with one another.
Mr. Charles Pike
Veteran World War II
"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"