Jesse Thomas Burgus
I have written this story too many times on some of my blogs so I will keep it short this time. My dad had served a few years in the army, in the states, and ended up his final time in the Battle of the Bulge. He was in the very last part of that battle as he was sent over with replacement troops for the weary and the dead. He arrived in Belgium in the fall of 1944 and spent some leisure time in this Belgium town. I tried to find the name of it as I was told by a fellow blogger it's name. I don't know why I can't find it as I searched my blogs but maybe the same person can help us out with the name.
The town had been held by the German army for quite some time but they were forced to retreat out of Belgium eventually because of the allied forces advancing on them. The photos of the area are so great. My dad and his buddy took a lot of pictures of the place while they awaited orders to go onto the front line.
Dad would have been 27 years old in this photo, which was old for men to be drafted. He already had one son at home when he was drafted and then had another right before he was sent overseas. He is a farm boy, mechanic who fixed tractors, and had never left the state of Iowa in his life time. In many ways it was a like sending a bunch of guys to Europe to be tourist even though that was not the end result.
The check is next to the window of the room that he stayed in at that complex. I assume it had been apartments. He must be in a tower or on a hill to have had this photo taken.
Not all of the soldiers were country kids as my dad did meet people from New York City and other larger more metropolitan place in the United States. This photo is one of my favorites as it shows that the men needed each other to survive. The silliness of standing on a railing and making a silly pose makes me smile. They were still kids at that age as all our kids in their 20's still are.
My dad wrote and sent a letter to my mom every single day, but he had to find friends to make the whole situation better. He made friends even though there were good chances that one of them would be killed. He had a poster that has names of many men who signed it but no addresses were involved, so he returned to Iowa without any way to contact any of them. He may not have know them all but it felt good to get everyone's autograph of a shared time together.
Family at war is my blog today. I find that I am still needing to study the large packet of the war photos that I have and will share them when they fit the Sepia Saturday theme.
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