Family Story Friday – Army Wounds

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This blog post is one in the series, Family Story Friday. I hope it inspires you to begin saving family stories one-at-a-time. After all, if you don’t save the stories, who will?

Army medical papers

My dad, Herschel Francis Hendrickson, was born on July 27, 1918 and passed away on March 30, 1963. He is buried in San Diego at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

National Cemetery tombstone with pointsettia

Dad suffered most of his short life from pain caused by his wounds received during World War II. If you view the document above you’ll see that he was in seven hospitals before finally being released in 1945, from the O’Reilly Army Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.

My brother, Mark, is the family keeper of the World War II papers and documents. He said Dad was in the Rhineland Campaign and that’s one of the decorations he had received.

I know dad was wounded November 26, 1944, three days following Thanksgiving. Mom said she received a telegram that he had been wounded but then heard nothing else for a month. I can’t even imagine how horrible that month must have been.

I don’t think Dad ever fully recovered from his wounds. He was left-handed and the back and chest wounds were on the left side. I remember mom saying that in one of the hospitals a nurse wrote dad’s letters for him because he couldn’t move his arm.

Because Dad died when I was a teenager I never had the chance to really ask him about his experiences. However, mom said when he was wounded he hid in the bushes all night long, praying that the Nazi soldiers didn’t find him and kill him.

It’s unbelievable, isn’t it.

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