In recognition of Veterans Day, we wanted to take a moment to honor some of our oldest veterans.
Fern (Caplinger) Metcalf:
Fern enlisted in the Navy in 1943 as a WAVE with the job of Pharmacists Mate 1st Class.
She came from a small town in Indiana and her experience in the Navy was exciting, but highly regimented. She said she would get up in the morning when her sergeant told her to, go to training and eat chow when they told her to, and then go to sleep when they told her to. All of this was quite foreign to a 20-year old out in the world for the first time.
Just like many of the WWII Veterans one might talk to, Fern says while in the Navy she just did her job. As a Pharmacists Mate 3rd Class, she took temperatures and the pulses of the 30 patients on her ward. She gave them baths, back rubs and served them meals. She also gave them shots and dispensed medicines. She did all of this with the help of only one other nurse on her floor.
She would sometimes say that it would sound like she was griping, but this was just reality. “It was tough at times, but we kept our chin up as we were doing our part in keeping America-America.”
Warren T. Thompson:
Warren served as a Corporal in the Infantry during WWII. Because he was a little younger, he didn’t get into the war until it was close to the end.
His job, once he got to Europe (which was quite an experience for a boy from the hills of West Virginia), he worked his way through Germany and ended up in Czechoslovakia where he was detailed to guard a train depot with his squad. He and his guys were on one side of the depot and Russian troops were on the other side.
When you talk to him about his time in the service, he, too, says he was just doing his job. Nothing special.
Fern’s and Warren’s stories are typical of the millions of men and women who have stepped up since the Revolutionary War and taken on the roles of defenders of our freedoms and our country. When the enemies of freedom and faith threaten us, we have called on people like Fern and Warren to leave their homes and families to fight these battles for us. Isaiah (8:6) says, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said ‘Here am I! Send me.’”
Veteran’s Day is a special day set aside to honor people like Fern and Warren and others who have said “Here I am. Send me.” So let us honor them and the other Veterans in our church family who have served and helped to maintain our way of life and the freedom to worship our Lord as we see fit.