Friday, May 27, 2005

Flashes from the Past: "He was bright and intelligent and bursting with energy, but he was unable to read or write..."

From a very early age, he dreamed of becoming a military hero, but his parents pulled him out of school when teasing over his poor writing became too intense. Biographer Martin Blumenson would later write, "There was a strong bond between father and son. The father spent many hours reading to him and his sister..."

Eventually he was able to enter the Virginia Military Institute, but the going seemed rough. In his first letter from home, his father wrote: "That must have been pretty embarrassing when you could not read the "no hazing pledge." How did you get out of it?...I do not see how you are going to over-come this difficulty except by practicing reading all kinds of writing. Do not give it up, but when you start to read anything, keep at it till you work it out. You misspelled hazing. The verb is "to haze" and you should remember the general rule--to drop the final "e" before "ing."

Who was this boy who struggled with reading and writing? This was "Old Blood and Guts," or George S. Patton, the colorful WWII general who spearheaded the spectacular sweep of the 3rd Army from Normandy across France. He was one of the Allies' most tactically brilliant generals.

One Favorite Patton quote: "Success is how high you bounce when you've hit bottom."

On this Memorial Day Weekend, we remember and thank all the brave men and women who serve or have served our country.

Patton Society

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