Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Will this stuff ever end?


Most of my old Army outfit, the 4th Infantry Division, is just back from a 15-month tour in Iraq. It was the third tour. On the first, it captured Saddam Hussein. Many Ivymen and a few women have died in Iraq.
One of the division's brigades was not part of the recently-ended tour. Instead it left for Afghanistan last month. My old unit, the 12th Infantry Regiment, is is the core of the brigade now at the Khyber Pass on the border with Pakistan. The elements of the division that were in Iraq were mechanized. The brigade now in Afghanistan is light infantry, ideal for combat in an area where some mountain peaks are as high as 14,000 feet.The photo shows the casing of the colors before starting the deployment.
Having my old battalion on the Afghan-Pakistani border makes for an uneasy feeling. Those who have never been in infantry combat may not understand that. Memories come back of good men left behind on battlefields in Europe, friends who wore the same ivy leaves shoulder patch as those now in Afghanistan.
If you read the battle streamers on the unit banners you will see such names as Gettysburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville, various campaigns in the Old West and the Philippines, Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne and Saint Mihiel from World War I, all the European campaigns of World War II, ten in Vietnam, three from Iraq and, when it returns to Fort Carson, a new one from Afghanistan.
I'm weary of it. Does it ever end? In ever one of those earlier wars the same words were uttered about noble causes, patriotism and how those who fall will never be forgotten. But they are forgotten. Tomorrow is the 65th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. How many Americans can name a single man who died on the landing beaches that day? That's just as true of those who died in one of the Tet Counteroffensives or at Little Round Top on the last two days at Gettysburg.



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