Monday, May 29, 2006

A Veteran's Story

Tom Purcell tells the story of a friend's father, whom he says he never knew who he really was until he was gone.

Purcell met Robert P. Argentine in 1994, at the age of 72. He said that Argentine inspired him in that one brief meeting. Then, he lost touch with his friend. When he later bumped into him in Pittsburg, he met his friend. By then, the friend's Dad was 82, and in bad health. And, a few months ago, the cancer won.

But, Purcell learned a lot about this veteran of World War II, where he fought in four invasions. He missed death because of a dud bomb that was dropped on his full munitions truck. He came back and resumed his work as a carpenter, got married, started a family, and rose through the ranks of the Carpenters' District Council in Pennsylvania.

Like so many World War II veterans, he never spoke much about his experiences and accomplishments. It wasn't until he died that the remarkable details of his story finally began to emerge.
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