The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


May 10, 2014

Don McAllister: Interviews with soldiers create priceless memories


Some of our best memories come from these interviews. These include John Speheger, who struggled with lung problems for four hours, determined to document the ordeal of Okinawa and Carl Sproatt, wounded so badly he was put on the dead pile.

There were magnificent gentlemen like Jack Rice, Bob Sherer, Bill Twigger, Marv Skeath, Harvey Anderson, and Frank Mack. Dick Whitaker owns our respect. There were the hospitality men: Glenn Moore, Buzzy Fox, and John Albanese; the truly good ole boys, Delmer Asbury, and Jim White; the fun and comfortable visits with Carmine Polo, Ken Wells, and O.B. Aasland; and the sharp Marine salute Vince Matthews gave us from his porch as we drove away. How can one put a price on those memories?

They were rambunctious boys with funny stories of their youth, but John Speheger put it all in perspective with these words: “There was a moment in the battle when the firing stopped and all was still. That’s when we heard it. It was like a giant moaning, but it wasn’t a moan. It was the drone of thousands of flies hovering over the battlefield dead.”

These men are my personal heroes, deeply etched in my mind, my heart, and my story.

Don McAllister directs the National Veteran’s Historical Archive. His column appears the second Sunday of each month. He can be reached at and

Text Only
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Front page

Do you think Madison County and its cities need stricter pet ownership laws?

Yes, animal abuse is rampant in our area and something needs to be done.
Yes, but it may not help. It’s difficult to enforce such laws.
No, the laws are fine as they are.
Not sure
     View Results