Wayne grew up – if you consider seventeen grown up –in rural Greene County, Indiana. Born in 1925, he wasof the generation who felt the worst of the GreatDepression. They are almost all gone now, those whoreally know what a great depression is. It’s not yourhome losing value or your savings earning less than youplanned or postponement of your retirement. It’s goinghungry, watching men begging for work, not strugglingto keep faith in the future but struggling to keep hopeitself. Wayne was in high school on the 7th of December1941. He enlisted in the Army the next year, one of theultimately sixteen million who served in World War II.And did he serve! Of all the divisions in the Army,Wayne was assigned to the 3rd Infantry. George Patton:“Yeah, his guts and our blood!” – an observation of ananonymous 3rd Infantry soldier. The 3rd had the highestcasualty rate of any American division in World War II.In accordance with Patton’s combat emphasis, themedical care following most of Wayne’s woundsconsisted of stopping the bleeding, stitches, bandage,and get back to your unit. Wayne participated in anopposed amphibious landing in Morocco, North Africa.“Opposed” means the two‐way shooting gallery. Healso landed in Sicily and Anzio. One of Wayne’s woundsoccurred near the Mussolini Canal as described by hiscompany operational records declassified decades afterthe war – casualties carefully categorized, numbered,but unfortunately not named. Wayne landed on thesouth of France later in 1944 in Operation Anvil. Anvilwas intended to complement the Overlord D‐Daylandings at Normandy, envelop German infantry andarmor forces and thereby shorten the war. His personalcombat story was shortened a few weeks later in therubble of a stone French building, in a coma, backbroken.Wayne woke over a week later in a theater level generalhospital. Somewhere along the line the unconsciousinfantryman was considered missing in action – hecouldn’t very well identify himself while being pulledfrom the rubble – and the MIA telegram was sent toWebster McIntosh, Wayne’s father. Luna, his mother,never saw it. Dad never showed Mom the telegram anddiscarded it after Wayne’s return. Wayne was stillyoung and – other than his back – healthy. Some of thepieces of shrapnel embedded in his back, hand, andneck would work their way out over the years, but heworked hard, physical jobs. Maybe the work helpedhim sleep. The nightmares made sleeping difficult.Wayne married the prettiest girl in Bloomfield, OakleneMcElroy [check] . They raised fine children: Monte,Tom, Bob, Karen, and Kenny. The kids grew up,married, had children of their own, and Wayne grewolder. His body became progressively less able tocompensate for the spinal damage done in France.Wayne obtained medical care and ultimatelyappropriate compensation from the Department ofVeteran Affairs. What he did not obtain from theDepartment of the Army was a Purple Heart. All therequired “official military medical records of combatwounds” were lost. The administrative staff at CampAtterbury, in their haste to separate over a half‐millionsoldiers so they themselves could go home, entered“None” in Block 34 of Wayne’s separation document:“Combat Wounds”. Even if Wayne had noticed, aPrivate First Class with no medical records would havehad – pardon the expression – no leg to stand on tocorrect this error. With what we now call posttraumaticstress disorder, I doubt Wayne hesitatedwhen told, “Here, sign this and you can go home!” ADepartment of Veteran Affairs physical examinationdocumented his many scars, embedded shrapnel, andbroken back less than two years after his separation.One would logically assume that, since Wayne had topass an entry physical in order to enlist, the damagenoted by the VA in 1947 either 1) occurred while he wasin combat exactly as indelibly burned into his memory,or 2a) Wayne was hit several times by German indirectfire as he worked in rural southern Indiana during thetime between his separation from active duty and theVA physical exam, and 2b) Wayne was confused as towhere he was located when wounded. (Odd his familyand neighbors did not recall this barrage, which wouldhave been extremely loud and left several craters in their fields.) See the conclusion of Wayne’s story in nextmonth’s newsletter.