Last month I briefly asked you to volunteer for service in ASHI and told you how the Armed Forces got their volunteers. Since articles for the Reporter are written a couple months in advance, I failed to mention my favorite volunteer with whom I celebrated Veterans Day.
He was the quintessential go-to guy. Back in the mid-1930s he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, where his job consisted of planting trees, building bridges and roads, etc. He found that regimented life was not that bad so he joined the Army in 1939. Of course, he hadn’t really anticipated that some megalomaniac would rampage across Europe trying to subjugate everyone in his path.
Before going overseas, he had almost three years to train the soldiers the U.S. needed to help the war effort. Once the Americans attacked “Fortress Europe,” he served with George S. Patton’s Third Army. As a forward observer with the artillery, he narrowly escaped a sniper’s bullet (which, had it hit its intended target, would have precluded this author’s existence) in the drive to relieve the defenders at the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, he joined millions of others who returned to the States to raise their families. He did the usual dad things, like coaching baseball, teaching us how to swim, etc. But one of the best stories was when he volunteered to work at traffic intersections for a veteran’s organization soliciting donations. You know, give them a buck and get a poppy, paper donut or a piece of candy.
The organizers noticed that he kept running out of candy more frequently than the other workers. Initially, they thought he must have been collecting bags of money, but alas, they found out he received about the same amount of money as every other volunteer. When asked why he was going through so much candy, he said he let the kids take as much candy as they wanted when their parents donated money.
When the authorities said that’s not the way they did it, “just give out one piece of candy per donation,” this soft-hearted veteran said, that’s not the way he did it. Unfortunately for the children and the confectionary industry, that was the end of him working the intersections.
Last month I said that “Although everyone won’t agree, I think giving really is better than receiving.” I guess I know where I got that belief. Of course, at 98 years old and still living independently, his volunteer days are pretty much over. He’s happy spending his time reading the newspaper and visiting with family.
This month, I’d like to introduce you to Frank J. Lesh, the man I’ve tried to emulate in a small way with service to ASHI.
Frank J. Lesh
Speaking of volunteers and veterans, I would like to congratulate seven graduates of the ASHI School who we hope will serve ASHI as well as they did our country’s Armed Forces:
- Paul Gaskin, Colorado email@example.com
- Davey Ray, Georgia firstname.lastname@example.org
- Michael Lamar, Georgia email@example.com
- Tony Long, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jeffrey Gilbert, Georgia email@example.com
- Mark Bacon, Georgia firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zane Sundquist, Connecticut email@example.com
If you have a minute, please drop these guys a line thanking them for their service and welcoming them to ASHI.