When I read this story this morning, I was awed. I read it from “Operation Excellence” by Mark Bender,Lt. Col., U.S. Army– Ret.
I would very much like you to read the story and interpret it… maybe totally different from what how I did…let’s get reading!
Captain Harry Truman had no business serving in World war one. He was practically blind in one eye, wearing thick, corrective glasses from age 8. He memorized the eye chart so he could join the Army, a patriotic act of self-sacrifice almost beyond our imagination today.
Throughout the war, Truman carried in his breast pocket a picture of Bess Wallace, the only woman he would ever love. He first saw Bess at age 6 in Sunday school, and it was love at first sight. Bashful around girls, it would take Harry five years to get up the courage to actually speak to young Bess, who came from a well-to-do family. Harry came from a family that struggled to make ends meet; they lacked the social standing of the Wallaces. Bess was athletic, described as “a hell of a third baseman and tennis player.”Harry could not play games because of his eyes; he played the piano and was looked upon as a sissy.
Harry was 26 when he began courting Bess in earnest. He visited her on Sundays and kept up a steady letter-writing campaign from the family farm south of town. But Bess had the pick of a wide field, and her mother was sure she could do better than Harry.
He proposed marriage in one of his letters. She politely declined. He wrote back and thanked her for not ridiculing him-and continued the barrage. He fashioned a grass tennis court and threw a party for her. She didn’t come. But the letters and the visits continued. After two more years Bess finally admitted that if she were to marry, she would marry Harry. It was a big if, but there was hope.
If he could find his fortune!
Harry borrowed money to mine for zinc in Oklahoma. The enterprise failed. He borrowed more money to drill for oil. The well bust and Harry sold his stake. The company continued, dug a little deeper, and it struck it rich. At age 33, Harry Truman was penniless and a failure.
As Harry prepared to serve his country in World War one, Bess Wallace finally agreed to his marriage proposal. This time it was Harry who said no, he didn’t want Bess to marry “a prospective cripple”
But Harry Truman returned whole and with renewed confidence from his military success. Among other feats, he commanded Battery B of the Second Battalion, 129th Field Artillery– a unit that fired 10,000 rounds in numerous engagements- without losing a soldier! Harry was now a leader of men, described by one of his soldiers as “one tough son of a bitch of a man”
Six weeks after returning home from France, Harry and Bess were wed. The marriage would last their lifetimes, persevering through numerous trials and tribulations.
Harry Truman was persistent, determined, and had character. Those same qualities that ruled his love life would take him to the White House, as president and commander in chief.
My way of looking at this,
1. The captain was disabled, and had a reason to sit back and let life just pass him by.
2.The captain was shy, it took him 5 years to get to approach Bess but he was very focused! He did not lose his goal!
3.He was very persistent, he tried many things- piano, business, and finally the army, and never ever stopped letting Bess know he cared, even if she rejected him!
4. He was patient, note that he waited for Bess for approximately 30 years!
5. he finally succeeded! The White House, and the love of his life, Bess!
Enough said. I pen off. Think about it, are you Captain Truman?
Frankly I do salute you, Captain Harry Truman!
Read more on this link http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/truman-early/
- Harry S. Truman (en.wikipedia.org)
- Truman Day 2 Notes – Atomic Bomb (slideshare.net)
- Truman grandson plants seeds of reconciliation (kansascity.com)
- Tuskegee Airman recalls Truman inauguration (thegrio.com)