Stand behind all soldiers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In May, 2007, I had the opportunity to spend Memorial Day in Washington, D.C. The three-day experience was exciting, but the highlight of the trip was meeting a veteran from Levittown, Pennsylvania. He was 87-years-old Master Sergeant Albert Ludwig (retired).

We met early each morning in the lobby of the hotel to have coffee and chat and we’ve kept in touch ever since. On May 28th of this year, he celebrated his 91st birthday. Since we first met, we’ve kept in touch by phone and letters. We talk to each other at least once a month.

Last year, in one of our conversations, he asked if I had a compass. Puzzled, I said, “No.” He laughed and said, “To get to Heaven you need a compass,” and continued that the Bible was God’s compass to lead us to Heaven. Since then, he always ends our conversation with, “Don’t forget your compass.”

I spoke to him Monday night and he was all excited about this Veteran’s Day. “I’ll be riding in our parade!” he said with pride.

The following is an article he wrote a few years ago for his local newspaper. This Friday is Veteran’s Day. I think it’s appropriate to share with you as I did last year.


By Master Sergeant Albert Ludwig (Ret.)

When my feet hit the sand on Normandy Beach in June of 1944, it marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another. I had never been more than two miles from my home before I was drafted into the Army from my small hometown of Clarence, PA (pop. 577).

I was soon put into training and sent all over the United States: Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, California, and, finally, a layover in NYC before heading to England to prepare for the D-Day invasion.

I fought my way from Omaha Beach to the Baltic Sea, and with every step, I could feel my country behind me. We had something called the “red ball express” that operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, delivering supplies.

Back home there was not a soul in America that was not touched by the war effort. Women worked in factories, children collected scrap metal, and all were tuned into the goings-on in Europe and the Pacific, hoping in vain to hear any news of their loved ones fighting abroad.

Today, as our young men and women risk their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are worlds away in both body and spirit. The shared sacrifice of World War II has been replaced by a vicious apathy that has permeated all levels of our society, from our televisions and newspapers to our daily lives. Rarely, if ever, does the cost and burdens of war ever reach our front door. I am concerned that our soldiers today are being forced to fight without the support of their country.

Regardless of your political affiliations, or beliefs, you must recognize that America’s sons and daughters are risking their lives on foreign soil and deserve our support.

So, I would ask you: What did you do today for freedom? Today, at the front, soldiers died…today, what did you do?

Next time you see a list of dead and wounded, ask yourself: What have I done today for freedom? What can I do tomorrow for freedom? Every civilian can be a soldier.

To our veterans: Once a vet, always a vet. There is no mission too difficult and no sacrifice too great. You did your duty, you performed with honor, but I think your country let you down. Our troops today need your support as well.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: