The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

February 8, 2014

Don McAllister: The three corporals

Every day starts a new story, and these represent the daily duty of real military life. Those stories always have some rare nugget of life. Near the end of 2013 we interviewed three men who fit that category. All three were corporals.

I knew Cpl. Ed Smith through the Men’s Lenten breakfasts; a really nice guy. Ed was a Park Place boy. Not the high rent property of Monopoly fame, but every veteran we’ve interviewed from there has rich memories of their childhood. Living close to Anderson (College) I asked if he ever played there. Ed said he did and got into trouble one day sliding down the tube fire escape at Old Main. Ed worked at Best Ever Dairy. He painted a nice picture of Bob Frazier who managed their ice cream store and went on to found his icon Dairy Maid.

Cpl. Smith joined the Marines in 1954 and fought the battle of Yorktown. In the 1950s Yorktown was a benign quiet old base that happened to house an underground missile site. Talk about ground zero!

Cpl. Paul Malone was the second of the three corporals. He had great stories of his grandpa’s farm in Bowbells, N.D., and his homesick mother who had to leave Bowbells for her husband who was from Altoona, Pa. Paul served a post in Korea that monitored our communications network to make sure our guys weren’t getting sloppy and letting out information that the enemy could use against us. When Paul’s unit arrived in Korea they were driven to the boonies and told to “dig in.” Paul explained that “We were lovers not fighters” so no one dug very fast or deep. That night they were welcomed to Korea by a mortar barrage during which they learned to dig deeper and faster.

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