Armistice Day And Return Of A "Doughboy"

Thursday, November 9, 2017

In March of 1915, anyone who could read or hung around a telegraph office knew it was only a question of when America would stop Germany from overthrowing all of Europe. Most of this nation was rural, farm boys were accustomed to rough hard work. 

Younger farm boys likely didn't recognize war as rough and hard. The thought of saving French farm girls from the evil German (yes, other words were used) was surely more pleasant to a youthful mind, when compared to stacking hot bricks or slaughtering chickens by hand. 

My uncle was born in 1898. A tall lanky fellow with blonde hair, youthful exuberance and no end to energy had found work in a brick mill by that year. But the word was spreading fast across America that War was coming. 

Joes’ mother had passed in '09, his sister (my grandmother), 19 months his senior had just married. Too many men in a house, maybe it was a chore, but one Saturday there was bread to be purchased and Joe was out to walk to the store some half mile away and return with store-bought bread. 

Along the way, he was enlisted into the National Army of the United States and off for training in a grand scale, to face a war of hideous proportions. 

During the 1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive in France, 100 yards to his right was an artillery Captain horrified at how the Germans maimed and stripped the American dead. A generation later that Captain, cum U.S. Senator (and later U.S. President) wrote of stacking the bodies of American dead sons, 5 across 4 high in piles like cord-wood to protect the dead from the German looters. My Uncle was one of the few survivors in what was described as "a cemetery of unburied dead." Those dead were from my Uncle Joe's Company, their loss forever seared into his mind. 

An Army Regular, he was held back for other duties in France as the remains of  Company D, 139th Infantry, 35th Division came home to victory parades and celebrations rarely equaled. 

When my Uncle Joe returned a half year later, he arrived home quietly and unexpectedly, a newly minted man, but he returned with that loaf of fresh bread under his arm. 

Saturday November 11, 2017 will recognize 99 years since the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, when Germany laid down their arms, turned away and walked home. 

Here and in Europe, there was still work to do. Much remains insecure to this day. 

But on Saturday, we celebrate the life, energy and spirit of both men and women who have died to preserve our liberties. We celebrate the life of men and women who still today, suffer unspeakable horror for others need. They continue returning home; to keep promises of their own. 

Jim Bowman



A Societal Ill Wind

A societal ill wind blows a lot of controversy around over drug addiction and how it effects citizens, families and how we all live..  A recent doctor appointment brought me closer then I ever thought to drug addiction and its effects on the total community. I drove to Carthage, Tn. the first time ever travelling to another small town in eastern Tennessee. The injection, affordable, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We’re 11th In Gridlock

At any given time on any of the seven days in a week, you can expect traffic on Interstate 24, as it snakes around the city, goes over Missionary Ridge, and heads to Interstate 75, to slow to a crawl. Sheer traffic volume now causes more slowdowns than wrecks or weather and it is guaranteed to get worse. Already Chattanooga is ranked No. 11 for freight gridlock in the entire United ... (click for more)

Black Creek To Pay For Engineer Firm's Review Of New City Road Up Aetna Mountain

City Transportation Director Blythe Bailey said Tuesday that the Black Creek Mountain Development Group will pay for a review by an engineering firm of plans for a new city road up Aetna Mountain to a planned major development on top. Geosyntec Consultants is charging $39,754 for the examination of the planned road that will roughly follow the track of the current dirt road that ... (click for more)

2 Bank Tellers Say They Are Positive Walter Rice Was Gunman Who Robbed Hixson Branch

Two tellers from the Hixson branch of the Bank of America testified Tuesday they are positive that Walter Frank Rice is the individual who robbed them at gunpoint last July 25. General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom bound a bank robbery charge against Rice, 36, of 4734 Sabrina Lane, Hixson, to the Grand Jury. She raised his bond on the bank robbery charge to $250,000, calling ... (click for more)

Baylor Volleyball Pounds GPS, 3-0

It was just 20 days ago on August 29 when Baylor and GPS faced each other for the first time this season in volleyball.   The match was played at GPS.   The Bruisers lost that day, but they left feeling pretty good after winning a set and giving the defending state champs all they wanted at times. The second match between these two storied rivals at Baylor wasn’t ... (click for more)

Lady Mustangs Corral Lady Owls, 3-1, To Keep Share Of 5-3A Volleyball Lead

After dropping the first two sets, Ooltewah gained momentum by staving off defeat and was playing visiting Walker Valley on almost even terms before the Lady Mustangs did what the Lady Owls could only talk about. Walker Valley finished off a 3-1 volleyball victory Tuesday night and stayed tied with Cleveland atop the District 5-3A standings. The Lady Mustangs (16-10 overall) ... (click for more)