Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cribbage and War Tales...

From The Star.com:

By George "Jim" Green
War tales: Rough landing on Italy

"...It was just an awful, awful time."

On a trip into a beach, he'd make friendly chit-chat with the soldiers, then lower the ramp. "My job was to get them off. It sounds cruel, but there you are." The majority usually made it ashore, he says.

In April 1945, he was on a base in Italy waiting to go home, watching guys play cribbage.

"Suddenly there was this big voom and a white light. The guy dealing the cards, his hand appeared to burst like a balloon. Next thing I knew, I was lying on my back. I could hardly breathe. I thought, `Uh-oh, this is it.' I started running."

A nearby ship being loaded with explosives had blown up.

Green, 85, says his grandson has some of his war memorabilia, but a lot of it has been lost.

"My friends here are all I've got," he says, patting six medals he's laid on his bed in the veterans residence at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre."

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