Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

A Tale of the 'Hispanic Soldiers'

Letters to the Editor

 


To the Editor:

I have read with interest the reaction to your effort to reach out to the Hispanic immigrant workers in your community. I have a story to relate to the subject.

Perhaps my favorite uncle, Joe McClure, native and resident of Huntingdon County (and who recently passed at age 92 or so), and I share many interests which included farming, hunting, history, politics and more. We were bound by the fact that we both were U.S. Army combat veterans. While I served in Vietnam, he had served with the 75th Division during the Battle of the Bulge. He had more combat experience than I did, but we both came under fire. His stories included a wonderful account on his “Mexican soldiers” from the Southwest.

You see, the 75th Division had been federalized from the Oklahoma National Guard (just as the 28th Division is the Pennsylvania National Guard). My uncle told me as the casualties rose, he was told that his new replacements were Hispanic and many could not speak English well. His reaction was one of skepticism. How would they communicate and would they be good fighters?, he wondered.

He told me they turned out to be excellent soldiers. Many years later, he attended a 75th Division Reunion and he spoke with his “Hispanic soldiers.” They said to him, “Sergeant McClure, we are so grateful to you. You kept us alive.”

As my uncle related that comment to me through tears in his eyes, he added proudly, “One of them told me his daughter had been named Texas teacher of the Year.”

I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I have. Keep up the good work.

C. Arnold McClure

Shirleysburg

 

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