I wanted to share a story that touched me and end this post by asking you (no, begging you!!) to drop a comment, thanking this veteran as well.
The story begins by me crossing paths with Sandy Schumacher on Twitter. I didn’t know her and can’t even remember how we crossed paths. She was simply just another reader on just another day. Or so I thought.
But somehow we got to messaging each other and I learned she was a retired cop. That caught my attention and led to additional messages where I soon learned that her Dad was a prior Marine, which clearly got my attention.
She told me he was 91 and in Memory Care now but still doesn’t cut the staff any slack. I laughed about the latter part and we talked more, with me asking more questions about him. From that, I soon learned he retired as a full bird colonel, having served from 1943-1976. His time included combat service in Korea.
At that, I told her that she had to tell the man the next time she saw him that a lowly sergeant from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines sends his regards and that I wanted him to know that I had the highest level of respect for him.
She told me she’d do that and that she knew he’d like hearing such a thing from another Marine of a different generation. And that’s when I got this incredible picture back from him, which completely blew me away.
Sandy told me that her dad said, “Back at ya!”
My reply to her was a little embarrassing, but completely honest. I simply said, “Oh, my word, what an amazing photo!!!! You have no idea how much this made my day!!”
I can’t really explain how that made me feel. It did more than make my day. It warmed my heart that he’d even acknowledge my service, which was nothing compared to his. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve felt that honored in a long time. Not even close.
I mean, to have a full colonel salute back… A man who served in Korea. A man who distinguished himself enough to reach such a rank — No small accomplishment, by any stretch of the imagination.
Sandy told me that her dad’s head nurse was an Army medic and that he made her dad practice his salutes! There is just something so touching about that for me. One veteran serving a man who had served him years earlier.
At any rate, I will try to end this here because I know all of you are so busy, but I beg of you to do me one thing: please leave a comment below for this man, who’s named Colonel George Robert Scharnberg.
So this is what I’m asking. Let’s get her dad a ton of comments. I’m sure it would be really moving for him. I’m sure it would be moving for others, as well.
For those who don’t know, the Korean War was often called The Forgotten War. It received very little public attention, so most of those who served were never rightfully honored.
If you have something touching to add, such as a family member who served in Korea or World War II, or even Vietnam or any other time period, please put that in your comment as well. I’m sure he’d love to hear such specific details.
Just anything you’d like to say to a man who saw too many men die in Korea and who gave this country thirty years of his life.
That’s it. Please. I beg of you. Share a few words with this man and maybe share the message or ask a friend to drop a comment, too. I’d love it if we blew Mr. Scharnberg away with how many comments get dropped. (I also know loads of other veterans will see the comments to him and also be warmed in the process.)
There’s so much pain in the world and we can’t do something about everything, but I think this is a really small way you can touch this man’s life. As well as the Army medic still standing post. (And if you have no idea what to say at all, just thank him for his service and put your name. Or only your first name if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your full name.)
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.