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My father was stationed at Oakland Army Base when I was 11 yrs old. There was not a lot to do on this base for kids. So I decided I would make money polishing boots for the GI's. My dad had taught his kids how to polish his boots. At that time he had 5 girls and 1 son. I would sit under the shade tree between the PX and the church . There I would sit and talk and polish these GI,s boots. At the time I had no concept of how young they were. Nor did I ever think some would not come home, because my dad had came home twice . Through the years since I have often thought of them and have always prayed they all made it home. I remember how they talked about there families they were leaving behind. And even as a child I knew how sad they were but also how brave and proud they were to go.

I made enough money to buy my shoe shine kit at the PX. Got in trouble a few times for being late for dinner . but have the best childhood memory ever. Thank you for letting me share this story and God Bless all those young men and their loved ones they left behind.

sharon russell
iberia, MO

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