Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have sacrificed for our country, the swords that protect us. My mind drifts to my Grandfather Edward Gibeau. Too young to fight in World War II he signed up anyway. The times spent before battle, before the actual war, he used to tell us about the joy he brought to the misery, a deft trick for a young boy. He loved New Zealand, he loved the people, he loved the hunting, and he loved all the horrible chickens he was forced to “borrow” from the locals. Wild tales of latrine duty, tire theft, rooster theft, and smuggling drunken companion both in and out of camp. Camaraderie was the meat behind all the stories, he loved these men, and he loved the time he had with them before the actual war. Pictures of him then shock me, this great towering powerful man was just a boy, skinny fair skinned, almost a child. I never knew the kid that went off to fight for his country; I met the man returned after he had lived much of his life. Calling in an airstrike (mortar?) on a heard of wild goats that he had noticed while learning the lay of the land – that was my Grandfather. Edward Gibeau, this skinny little kid off in a foreign country hunting wildlife via superior firepower. He said once he tracked down what was left of the carcasses he realized his folly, there was nothing left to eat, the animals had been obliterated. Then he left to fight the island war; he was lucky enough to return while most of his friends did not. Today I am thinking about them.
Edward Gibeau Memorial Day