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World War II Remembrances

War Time Experience of Richard Edgar Fent

Written by: Leona Fent Oakes
Submitted by: John Lehr

© John Lehr

Her brother's war time experience. Sergeant takes over to destroy ENEMY NEST. May 16, 1944 in Italy, Spring. No birds, no bees, no flowers. Only bullets singing spitefully: kicking up little volleys of dirt in front and behind. Sergeant Richard Edgar Fent crouched behind his rifle, looking for a target. So far he was unscathed, but others of his platoon had not been so lucky. His platoon leader and platoon sergeant were both hit; and he supposed that left him in command. Most of the trouble, he guessed, was coming from a dugout out there, where a Jerry machine gun nest was entrenched. They could stay there to be picked off one by one, or they could attack. With a rocket launcher, they attacked ----- and Sergeant was surprised at their success. The impossible had been done. The enemy, the supermen could die, too. He grinned at his boys ..... A grim bending of the lips in a dirty weather beaten face. Then to insure flank security for his company, he led his platoon on a reconnaissance patrol. Back at headquarters the event already seemed like ancient history, he learned he was a hero. The Bronze Medal, the army's latest award for combatants, was pinned on his breast, which already wore the Infantry Combat Medal. Back home, in Mulhall Oklahoma, his wife, Mrs Frances Fent, learned of the event only through the terse colorless phrasing of a field citation. You can't control the length of your life -- but you can control its width and depth. You can't control the contour of your face - but you can control its expression. You can't control the weather - but you can control the atmosphere of your mind. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you. Life is hard, by the yard; but by the inch, lifes a cinch. He didn't know that it couldn't be done so he just went ahead and did it.

This page was updated: Wednesday, 08-Apr-2009 20:22:41 CDT

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