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An Honest Man

Story ID:6208
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1946
Person:Surprised Chelsea Kansas Kid
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An Honest Man

An Honest Man

As I got off the garbage scow
After two years in the hole
Out of that stinking country, Korea
And the Sgt. was calling role.

A soldier with a familiar face
Walked toward me
Called me by my name
Shook hands and asked me

Where I had been
Said heíd been in the Army Engineers,
Down Inchon way
He had been released just yesterday.

I said Iím sorry
I am ashamed
I recognize your face
But canít recall your name.

Donít you remember?
Barracks number four
My name is Lindberg
I had the bunk next to the door.

Then it hit me like a tidal wave

Co. B, 57th. Battalion, Tyler, Texas
Now I recall youíre the only one
In our barracks that was
Expert on the M1.

Yeah thatís me he said
But that is not what I wanted to say
You loaned me some money
To go to the movie in Tyler, one summer day.

I looked at him in amazement
I could not believe my ears
That anyone would keep track
Of an Army loan for over two years.

Yeah you loaned me two bucks
When I was flat broke
You were the guy that handed
Me the money for the movie and some smokes.

He pulled a small memo book
From his pocket
There was my name
Number one on his docket.

AS he reached for his money
I took the bookí Crossed out my name and amount
Initialed it and told him it was paid in full
And to close out my account.

He thanked me and walked away
He disappeared from view
Two bucks, do you believe this?
Iím telling you

It made me appreciate
And about which I now understand
This little episode gave me confidence
In my fellow man.

True story, MM
09-06-08

This photo was taken from atop Wolmi Do (hill top) looking down at Inchon Harbor, Korea 1946.