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A Lifetime to Remember in 5 Minutes

May 23, 2019
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Last night, I held the door open for an elderly man and his wife and ended up having a five minute conversation. He was slowly shuffling and apologized that I had to wait so long for him to get to the door. It wasn't a big deal, it was literally like 5 more seconds at the most. And I was happy to do it. But in those five seconds, he grabbed my attention...he told me the reason he was so slow was that he still had some shrapnel in his leg from Korea.I suddenly had nowhere better to be than there, talking with this man. As we stood in the doorway, with a very simple, yet picturesque American flag blowing in the background, the man told me about his time in Korea."I spent 22 days in a foxhole in subzero temperatures..."F***. What? Twenty-two days, with two other guys in a fighting position on a hill in Korea. Subzero temps. He was part of the 40th Infantry Division, who partook in such notable battles as Sandbag Castle and Heartbreak Ridge.He told me about how he was a rifleman, but his sergeant made him a machine gunner because they needed some heavier firepower on the line. This man had to carry ammo and what I'm guessing was the Browning 1919 up the mountain. He said it was a .30 caliber machine gun, so I added two and two and got four. He told me how the path up the mountain was actually a bunch of steps because the ground had frozen over and they'd chiseled out actual steps up the mountain.The man told me that..dancing was the key to staying alive and active...he was 92 years old.He and his wife bid me their farewell and he shook my hand...told me "That's one helluva grip young man." I said thank you and we parted ways. A five-minute conversation that I'll remember the rest of my life about this man's trials in Korea.

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