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An Echo from World War I

I saw this story on the Associated Press and it got me to thinking.

It’s connected to World War I, in which at least three of my late uncles fought.

Two of them were my father’s older brothers, and when the war ended, one stayed to help with the paperwork as soldiers got ready to return home. It was sometime in 1919, if I remember Dad’s stories correctly, when that uncle returned home. His family didn’t know he was coming, so he rode the train as far as Montrose, South Dakota(also my home town) and since no one was there to meet him he walked ten miles to the family farm. Dad used to say, “That’s how we welcomed him home.” Both of Dad’s brothers went on to what was then South Dakota State College, and when I’m telling about got there, he was tabbed to help teach the ROTC students since he was a veteran. That’s how he came to work with General Omar Bradley, who spent a year or so in charge of the ROTC program at SDSC.

Anyway, this story reminded me of my somewhat tenuous connection to “The War to End All Wars.”

So read the story, and along with me remember the sacrifices so many veterans and their families made in that long-ago war. I think, like me, you will also be happy that a veteran’s widow is getting the assistance she can obviously use.

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A 110-year-old Pennsylvania widow is getting a benefits boost because of her husband’s World War I service.

Family members say Alda Collins is now getting about $1,000 a month to assist with her stay at a nursing home near Ebensburg. She had been getting $36 a month.

Her son tells the Daily American of Somerset (http://bit.ly/OURXLU) that Collins lived by herself in a trailer until she was 106. She can use a walker, feeds herself and knows the Pirates are in second place.

For years, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse.

Her husband, William, served in the Army in World War I. He died in 1976 at age 81.

The family had been asking the Veterans Administration for the benefits adjustment since 2008 and recently got help from U.S. Rep. Mark Critz.

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