Picture of my maternal Grandfather from France, 1918.
Look at all the handsome young men...all gone now, all gone.
He is the second man from the right, in the rear.
My grandfather Peter came to this country from Naples, Italy in 1895, and became a citizen of this country in 1908.
When WWI broke out, he joined the Army out of patriotism for his new country and proudly served as a cook in Belgium and France, where he got gassed in 1918 and was invalided back home.
He was never a healthy man after that; the gas took forty years but it finally killed him.
I vaguely remember him as a kindly, very infirm old man in a wheelchair, outside on a sunny day at the Veteran's Hospital...he passed away soon after that day
I was not quite four years old, it is one of my earliest memories.
My paternal grandfather was a cook too in the Great War. Military cooks get a bad rap; but they're very important, after all, an army marches on its stomach.
He came back to Springfield, Missouri and became a union railroad worker until his death in the early 70s.
I'm glad you remember him, if only vaguely, and that you remember him as a kindly man.
was a cook in the army, too, in the second World War. He helped deliver meals to soldiers on the frontlines and I know that he had to have to seen things that no one should ever have to see because he never really liked talking about the war. My mother once said that she remembered hearing him telling a story about one of those trips where he delivered a meal to a soldier, turned around to serve another and when he turned back around the first soldier had been killed. No wonder.
His hearing was damaged during the war thanks to artilery and I think I remember hearing about him being in an army hospital for it, but he never got any benefits for it as the VA kept arguing that it wasn't due to anything that happened while he was in the service.
To all of our grandfathers!