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
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,
and praise to others, nothing for himself.
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
this man proved himself again. Artics were
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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,