With Christmas almost here, I can’t help but think about all our loved ones serving our country in various spots around the world. While I don’t have a family member overseas, I feel for those families missing their sons and daughters while they bravely and diligently work to protect peace and our freedoms. I found this little story about one man in the Korean War and his actions that showed a wonderful amount of compassion even though he’d surely rather be home. This is an excerpt from a post titled, “Christmas Was Stronger Than the Korean War Zone.”
“Mr. Charles Nelson of Texas (courtesy of rootsweb.com to enable my fact checking) was living in a tent in Korea in December of 1952, without any winter clothing , bathing in his helmet and having only C rations available for food.
Mr. Nelson’s was not going to be a fine Christmas. However, the whole of his military unit looked forward to Christmas dinner with turkey and trimmings flown in from Japan. It would be a touch of home and remembrance.
On Christmas Eve, help was needed in repairing an aircraft homing beacon at a remote outpost, so Mr. Nelson and another soldier went to rescue whatever they could manage in the distress call.
Being Air Force, they were able to take extra C rations, Canadian Club Bourbon and cigarettes with them to trade for what they might need at their destination.
When the Nelson team arrived to help, they noticed children at the perimeter of the US Army outpost, begging for food and none being given.They were starving.
The leader of the Army post explained that all they could spare had already been given and they were only allowed fresh supplies once a month. There was nothing more to give.
Mr. Nelson and his partner drove to the US Army supply center and traded bourbon for a whole vehicle load of food!
They returned to the Army post and everyone there, including the orphans that had been living alone in caves, enjoyed a Christmas dinner and cookies for dessert and presents for the kids.
Mr. Nelson enjoyed this Christmas with the orphans more than the following one in Korea with a full Christmas celebration.
Mr. Nelson was the oldest person at the party and the ranking officer. He was just 22 years old.”
Christmas is stronger than war. It is a time that brings people together in the best, and the worst of circumstances. Thank you to all who serve. And thank you to their families as well. Your sacrifice is no less greater than those missing from the Christmas dinner table this year.