IT IS BUT A SINGLE SLIP of paper, creased and yellowing with age. Yet, it is so much more. The words typed thereon, 59 years ago, hold heartache and honor and memories of my soldier father and his buddy.
My father shipped home from Korea into the welcoming arms of family.
Cpl. Ray W. Scheibe shipped home from Korea in a box, to a grieving family.
It’s all there, on that piece of paper, a memorial service bulletin dated July 31, 1953, Sucham-dong, Korea. My father folded that paper into quarters, carried it across the ocean and across the country and back home to southwestern Minnesota and then tucked his grief inside a shoebox.
Cpl. Ray William Scheibe lost his life in Korea June 2, 1953, when he was hit by a round of mortar fire, according to information received from a buddy. He was a member of an infantry unit and was on patrol duty at the time of his death.—from The Wolbach Messenger, Thursday, July 23, 1953.
Sgt. Elvern Kletscher, my father, witnessed the horrific death of Ray, who was due to ship out the next day. Back in tiny Wolbach, Nebraska, Ray’s wife, Marilyn, and their 3-month-old daughter, Terri Rae, waited.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13—scripture quoted in the memorial service folder dated July 31, 1953, Sucham-dong, Korea.
This Veterans’ Day let us remember, always, those who have served and are serving.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling