Small Town Veteran

Baby boomer, nerdy kid, Viet Nam veteran, engineer, daddy, grandpa.
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2004.10.21

A Letter From SGT Gell

Remember SGT Jack Gell? I’m not going to let you forget about him yet. I’m pulling something together that I won’t risk having tarnished by questions about its timing -- Please visit this site on November 14 for a post I hope you’ll think is as important as I do – but for now I have something related to pass on.

Mark/Urthshu is close to some members of SGT Gell’s family and sent me something I’m excerpting here:

Hello, Bill-

This was a letter published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Sunday, Jan. 16, 1966. It was part of a letter to [SGT Gell’s] wife Rebecca Gell, dated Nov. 1 1965, [13 days] before Sgt. Gell was KIA.

Much of it is personal to them as a couple. It was 8 pages long in toto, but they published some snippets. It was striking to me on several points:

  • It was early in that war, so he still had greater hopes for the outcome than later troops may have [had].

  • There are remarkable similarities to the current wars, especially when placed side by side with considerations from such blog entries as The Mesopotamian’s Listen America.”

  • The same history, if ignored during this Election cycle, could repeat itself. We're both aware of that. This letter can drive some of that home- and make it personal. People might slander Sgt. Gell as "dying for nothing". Very obviously, retreating from Iraq and the WoT would make that true for the Troops who have died now.

If you'd like to, by all means use it & do so now. I don't think it has to be part of the next postings you'll do, and in fact it might sway someone towards not wasting the memory of the men who have fallen thus far.

Darling-

Today is a very lovely day. There are birds singing and there is a clean smell in the air. I'll bet that people in the US that don't think we are doing anything worthwhile ever stop and just see what they can hear - the sound of people talking and birds singing, and things taking place all around them.

Never stop and wonder why all this is happening. It is because people like the fighting men in Viet Nam are true believers in freedom. They fight for it, they get wounded for it, and they are willing to die for it.

God gave us freedom and with it came a way of life. For the people that will fight and die for their God-given rights there will always be a safe place to live and raise a family, and that family will never think of shooting at them or blowing up their home....

The men in Viet Nam have more respect for the Viet Cong for fighting for what they think is right than they do for the people who picket and the people who make speeches on how to stay out of the Draft...

We will free the people of this war-beaten country, and they will stay free; our enemy knows he cannot win and a lot of them have changed sides because the word is getting out that they are wrong and freedom is what they really want…

Well, anyway, I'll have done my part and I feel that is a good part. I'll also know I can come home to you and my children and feel free and happy in our daily life.

Darling, I love being able to fight for the way of life you and I know so well, and I am sure you feel the same way about it.

We have had a good marriage and I have loved every second of every day that I have known you.

I love you,
Jay

And that's it. The rest of the articles were descriptions of the funeral, essentially following Rebecca around and hounding her. It wasn't rude (that would come later, I guess) but it [wasn't] really necessary.

Thank you for sharing this with me, Mark.

SGT Jack Gell's name appears on Line 049 of Panel 03E of The Wall.

Do not miss the personal tributes here.

(I have removed one paragraph from my original post out of respect for SGT Gell's widow, who prefers that his memory not be used for political purposes. -- BF 2004.11.23.)

(This is an updated version of a post originally posted on the mBlog version of "Small Town Veteran" and cross-posted to The Mudville Gazette and Backcountry Conservative.)

Posted by Bill Faith on October 21, 2004 at 04:00 PM in Jean Fraud Kerry, Sgt_Gell, The American Warrior | Permalink


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Note: I hate to have to do it but I'm turning on comment and trackback moderation. If you post a legitimate trackback or comment I'll do my best not to be too slow about approving it. If the only reason you're here is to advertise your porn, music, or penis enhancement site you can kiss my sweet ass.


Bill that letter brought back alot of pain but it also reminded me of who we all were then . Our country called we belived in our leaders . we were the children of the 50;s GoD and Country. That was us we didnt doubt we knew freedom wasnt free we were WW11 kids. Our fathers fought It was natural.WE are a special generation That still Believes . God bless you and our Soldiers in Irac and afganistan Jack sister Kathleen

Posted by: Kathleen Gell Lee | Feb 17, 2007 11:41:44 AM

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