Very Personal… On Easter

In the past I’ve told my friends on this website about the sacrifices my dad made fighting with the 3rd Armored Division in France and Germany. And I’ve told you that I have five family members buried in Arlington. But I’ve never told you the following story because I didn’t know it until three weeks ago.

My dad was commanding one of General George Patton’s tank battalions in the last months of World War II when a German soldier fired a bazooka from the upper floor of a chalet in the town of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Dad, who had massive head wounds and extensive brain damage, was taken by the Nazis as a prisoner of war. How he got out is a story for another day. But he survived and after a long battle with Alzheimer’s he died in 1997. The basic facts are in his seventy year-old military and medical records.

Just a few weeks ago a close friend discovered that many graves in Arlington have their own websites. I never knew that! But it gets stranger, still. On my dad’s website is a poem posted by my younger brother several years ago. On this Easter Sunday I would be an irresponsible son and a horrible brother if I neglected to re-post it for you.

 
                               PASSPORT

Dedicated to LTC Edward D. Lucas, Jr.  1915-1997
 

Daddy was a soldier in 1942,

A quiet man who never told of all that he went through.

But this fading soldier was dying in his bed,

While memories and battle wounds made war inside his head.

“A stamp is all I need. A stamp is all I need.”

His circuit board had failed him. He prattled as he went.

We heard his words but no one understood just what he meant.

“A stamp is all I need. A stamp is all I need.”

 

Now some think there’s a Heaven for heroes who pass on,

Who give their lives for God and country until God calls them home.

But Daddy seemed to know that he’d never get that far,

Until Somebody put the perfect stamp upon his heart.

 

“A stamp is all I need. A stamp is all I need.”

It was January when it was time to die.

They knew my Dad would pass that night,

But I could say, “Goodbye.”

 

His eyes were glazed and fixed upon the passport by his bed.

And finally I understood the countless times he said,

“A stamp is all I need. A stamp is all I need.”

 
As his light was fading, and I looked into his face,

Some mysterious visitor had stamped his passport with Grace.

By Gregory D. Lucas  Son of LTC Edward D. Lucas, Jr.
Added: Dec. 10, 2011

(link to Arlington gravesite)

 

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About

Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “Very Personal… On Easter

  1. tom dee

    My father and mother are with your father in Arlington. Peace be with the peace makers. My father was a commander of a POW camp during the war. He was formerly a horse solder enlisting as a private in 1924. He made every enlisted rank including sgt major before he received a commission. He retired from the reserves as Lt Col. One of his last acts was he pinned a full Colonel pin on my brother who along saw enough combat for any family. It is a very special place Arlington.

    Reply

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