I picked up the paper today and found out that a man I new well had passed away. His name was Jeff DeBlanc. Long ago he worked as the maintenance man for the company where I worked. He was a very cheerful ,positive man and always had a smile and something good to say. We all called him , The Dad. One day when I was having a particularly bad day , feeling bad and sorry for myself, he told me a story . I learned another lesson about
feeling sorry for myself that day. You see ,Dad, was not just an ordinary guy ,though you would never hear him say so. One day in WWII, he found a US convoy under attack by Japanese planes. Though he was running low on fuel he would not leave the covoy to fend for its self. He shot down five planes that day and was shot down himself after running out of fuel. He spent six hours swimming to reach the nearest land, Japanese held Kolombangara Island , only to be captured by non friendly natives. Lucky for me , he said, they sold me to a friendly islander, for a very small bag of rice. He said, this is when you know what your life is worth. He evaded capture in the jungle until he reached a coast watcher and was rescued.
I am sad today because the people I have known and refer to as ,the greatest generation are slipping away. The people that went to war when every one was at war. The men and women that sacrificed so much for us. weather it be on the front lines or here at home dealing with ration cards and saving papers and cans to be recycled. Doing without so they could supply the troops. Try asking for that today when people whine about their normal lives while our men and women are fighting. Yes I am sad because another is gone. The last living Louisiana congressional medal of honor winner, Col. Jefferson Joseph Deblanc is gone from us. And for me, life, no matter how crappy, is better for having known him and when times are rough, I can still say, Hey this aint so bad.