Are in the works. Colonel Art says the VA will have Russ’s ground military marker soon and I recently got the contract for the upright civilian stone and sent it back with half the fee as specified. So maybe we won’t have to wait until November, due to a lack of granite after the pandemic. Fitting that the civilian stone will be of Georgia Grey granite, since he and me and Colonel Art all graduated from the Benning School for Boys. A granite that seems to turn sky (or Infantry) blue in direct sunlight. Allllriight.
I’m going to buy a civilian tombstone for Russ, copying his father’s & mother’s, adding only Beloved Son and Russ’s birth and death dates. His father, Rev. F.M. Wheat’s stone has a quotation from Corinthians: “At home with the Lord.”
I’ll use that, too. I like its double-meaning, whatever was meant in the New Testament (I’m not a Christian), plus an Afterlife meaning as well.
Retired Colonel Art, who may not want his last name used, is leading the effort to get a military stone recognizing Russ’s service as a Vietnam combat infantry lieutenant platoon leader. Who was wounded in both legs, still wearing the scars when he transitioned at age 81. Hope you’re enjoying yourself, Russ.
In Higgins, Texas, way up in the panhandle, Bar and I found that our old OCS friend Russ Wheat has only the funeral home’s plastic marker on his grave. So his classmates are working to get him a military headstone from the Veterans Administration. Stymied so far by a lack of his DD 214 separation document. The funeral home never got a copy nor had any idea Russ was a Vietnam combat veteran. The plot thickens. Stay tuned.
The Hilton Garden Inn in Oklahoma City, to be exact. All booked for the 25th, 26th, and 27th. Amtrak all the way. All to get to Higgins in the northernmost panhandle of Texas to see Russ’s grave. Hopefully no tornadoes. Certainly won’t be any ice storms. Yay!
I was keeping the paper copy in the car, until someone suggested photographing it for the phone. Probably best to keep it there to avoid losing it, though I have several copies. Mostly I use my VA card for discounts when asked but AT&T asked for the full 214. And it was worth it, shaving $70 from my monthly bill. Veteran bennies, such as parking spaces and discounts, are a new thing. Wasn’t so long ago being a veteran was no benefit at all.
Bought our end of April tickets to Oklahoma City. Trying again to get within range of Higgins in the Texas Panhandle and OCS comrade Russ Wheat’s grave. At least we can expect no ice storms this time.
Had a Zoom meeting Saturday with six guys I knew at UMaryland’s Munich (Germany) campus back in the early 60s. Was surprised to hear that several, like me, were drafted for Vietnam, and spent time in Infantry OCS before deploying, as they say it now. Was enlightening and fun! A few even read this here blog. Wish they’d leave a comment now and then. But I understand shy.