Lt. Irwin Jester
by Troy H. Kimmel

I was an enlisted man, United States Army. I am proud of that. I was drafted and I am not ashamed of that. I received sang deferments against my choice. his I was ashamed of even with the draft boards reason, it was more important hauling those bombs and ammunition.


I want to write of another, I do not knew any of his background. This is not important. What is important, correcting the old story, officers were something to be run down. I wish to go the other way, I want to brag on an officer. Some of the gripes about officers being treated better than us, the enlisted men, are true. Not in my story. I want to try and express myself as to what a former officer meant to me.


This man is former Lt. Lieutenant Irvin Jester. A better man and officer, there was none. In these late years and finally a get together by mail with this man and some others of our old company, I have heard nothing except praise for our Lt. The Lt. is still his ole self, giving credit and praise to others, nothing for himself.


I knew the compassion of this man. I was the recipient of a dear John Letter from my wife. This man stood by my side, he guided me. He was there when I needed some one close to talk to. This man was an inspiration,  some one to look up to. He was a man you would have follow­ed to hell. All he would have had to do was ask. This was a very brief description of this man stateside.


Shortly after starting out some across France, this man proved himself again. Artics were almost none existent. He saw to it that any man who was not assigned to a gun crew or as a driver got them.  How?, is still a question.


During battle this man did not depend on the word of ether men entirely en the condition Of men. He saw to every man personally, regardless of where that man happened to be. This man on more than one occasion risked his life to check on the safety of one man. I know, I was one of these men.


This man, an officer, did something for so that no other man has over done. He risked his life, above and beyond, trying to give me some safety. If net for this officer and his own thought of the safety of his met, I am sure I would not be here today. He did not have to do what he did, he just that kind of a man. Maybe this will explain why I feel the attitude of enlisted men to an officer is wrong. In many cases this attitude is well founded.

The day this man asked for volunteers for a motorized patrol. Who was the first and wanted to lead that patrol, 1st Lt. Irvin Jester? He did not get th e honor, I did. At least I was in the lead jeep. The Lt. did keep charge. I carried a guilt deep inside as for 35 years over this. I felt I had let him and many more of our comrades down that day. I felt it was my fault that be and thousands of our comrades were captured that day. After hearing of his suppose to be death, I really felt guilty. Fortunately this story turned out to be wrong.


Regardless of what I did wrong that day so many years ago, I was doing it for my Lt.  He may have been younger than me. That did not matter, I looked to his and trusted him.


I never saluted this man because I had to. My respect for this man went beyond the uniform he wore, the bare on his shoulders. It was a pleasure to salute him, the man inside that uniform he so proudly was.


I do not knew what decorations and awards this man received. I can only say, if any man, officer er enlisted, Is entitled to every award the Army gives, this man, our Lt. should be included. Combat or otherwise.


In correspondence with Irvin Jester today, he still insists an giving credits praise to some one other than himself. He writes of great courage, not being afraid, very brave, the daring meritorious arrive and outstanding performance of duties of ether people. Never a word of himself. I have studied my notes, read all I could find on heroic soldiers, from these, here is a description of 1st. Lt. Irvin Jester. Gallantry - Intrepidity - Heroic Meritorious service - Outstanding performance of duty - Risked his life above and beyond - Extraordinary heroism. This was 1st. Lt. Irvin Jester.


This man I write of was also a Prisoner of War. Even the brutality of our captors did not break this man's determination to escape. He made it twice. His bravery, his devotion to duty never faltered. Yes, my attempt that cold 19th day of December, 1944 did not keep his and many more from being captured, only delayed it a matter of hours.


In my blundering way, I hope I have described the man as I knew him and served under. A man I respect and admire. Maybe you can understand, when I found out this man was still alive, I went back into time. I dug out a Letter that was written in 1945. That old letter was addressed to Robert P. Paterson., Secretary of ear. That old letter was asking for the Congressional. MEDAL of HONOR for, our Lt.  Can you understand why I wrote to my Congressman at this late date requesting his to try and got this man this high honor? There is much more to the whole story, you will have to wait. If this man does get this honor I will gladly tell the# whole story.


I only wish I could write better of this man.  That is an ability I do not have. What I have written comes from my heart. Maybe, if this award is given to this mans it will may what I have failed to say, THANK YOU SIR.

This Veterans Day, 11 November, 1980 as I write this, I want to say, I stopped, stood unashamed and saluted you sir, not once but twice.


Once as an Officer of the United States Army and the uniform you wore, the last and from the bottom of my heart and tears in my eyes, I SALUTE YOU IRVIN JUSTER, the man you were and still are.


With love and Respect,

Your Old Corporal,

Troy H. Kimmel

Page last revised 12/06/2006

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