November 9, 2009

Ron Glaesman and

All Re-enactors at the Camp Roberts

Cross at Lorraine exercise.

I want to thank you all for an experience of a lifetime. I was proud to be invited to share the weekend, proud to be an American, and proud to be associated with such a fine group of people.

Heretofore I have felt that WWII was a fading bit of history. Few folks today remember or are even aware of that era. Those of us who lived in that time are now passing along with few if anyone to share the memories. There are fewer and fewer as time goes on. We who were in the service are left to wonder if it is even relevant today.

I was delighted when you, Ron, sparked the conversation about the history of that era; the war in Europe and particularly Italy and Sicily . It was exciting to meet and talk with someone who was so deeply knowledgeable. When you later revealed the existence of your re-enactors, it was hard for me to imagine the reality of it.

To me what you folks do is more than a hobby; it brings to life the reality of a very important time in the history of our country. While you are having fun, you are also, at a very basic level, are paying respect to a generation of people who loved their country and were proud of it. I could tell in the enthusiasm of your telling about your hobby, that loyalty and pride in your country was as important as the fun you were having.

It was so moving, and for the first time ever I felt a great big “thank you” for something I neither needed, expected nor wanted, but when many of you said “thank you” I almost cried. Not that I did anything but fill a slot in the T/O, I know you were expressing appreciation for the generation who stepped up to a long tough job. It all adds to my idea of what it means to be an American.

Besides the delight of seeing the enthusiasm with which you have collected the uniforms, equipment and vehicles, I was impressed with the focus on getting it right. So much that came out of Hollywood has been bogus and phony; it turned me off a long time ago. Seeing your respect for the real thing was a real kick.

You are making a contribution to the history of the time.

You were all so warm and welcoming to me, and you all obviously enjoyed one another, it gave the whole week-end a special glow. What a great bunch of people! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And a special thank you to you Ron, for the exhaustive effort in getting uniforms for me; for inviting me to share a week-end with wonderful people, and a memory I’ll treasure always.

Respectfully, Don