Friday, June 14, 2013

A Pair of Joes

Haiku My Heart
June 14, 2013

Each week, on Friday, a group of fine folks gather and share Haiku. poetry, photos, art and friendship through our blogs. Check out Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon to see more and find out how to participate.

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That's my 91 year old Uncle Joe Spado in the hat, and yours truly gesturing,  as we share a conversation on the patio at my cousin's home, celebrating his birthday last month

Two souls sharing talk

Combat Veterans of war

Real life Joe Spados

That’s right. Two of us with the same name. His name. My name. That’s my uncle Joe on the left, my dad’s younger brother. He just turned 91 on May 8th. I turned 64 on May 10th. We’re both combat Veterans that served in the US Army. He was in Africa and Europe in World War II, I served in the American war in Vietnam in 1969.
My Uncle Joe Spado as a young man at my Aunt's wedding

Others served in the armed forces as well. Uncle Phil and Uncle Joe from my mother’s side of the family and Uncle Tom, my dad’s oldest brother. Even my dad served during World War II. My brother also served in the Marine Corps.

Funny fact is, only those named Joe were sent to combat while serving in the military.

This is Joe Caruso, one of my mother's brothers, in uniform circa 1944

I have no idea where my other Uncle Joe was stationed when he served. But the Uncle Joe that is still amongst us, the one I’m talking to in the photo above, told me he served in the 256th Tank Battalion.

One of the stories he told me was how he had gotten in trouble and thrown into the stockade while he was stationed in Italy. There was a need for someone that spoke Italian to keep track of some Italian prisoners of war. My uncle had his stockade sentence pardoned so he could do detail translating for these POW truck drivers.

When I asked him what he did to be put in the stockade, he told me that he had taken a case of fruit cocktail off a truck to share with his platoon.

I make no political point here about serving in the military or any war. It happened. It is part of the past and cannot be changed. I’m just fortunate to still have my Uncle Joe around. By the way, we call him Uncle Curly.

Me, myself and I, somewhere in the Republic of Vietnam, 1969



Marit said...

I love the photo of the two of you talking... 'uncle curly' you say? I cannot see if his hair is curly underneat that hat (not even if he has any hair at all) or if there was another reason for calling him 'Curly'... You look good my friend! Stay healthy and keep rollin' the roads!

Anonymous said...

Your post warms my hear for so very many reasons. And it is good to see you are out 'on the road again.' Fell the wind for us, Joe! Thanks for sharing this! Haiku My Heart Raining

deb did it said...

Hello Two Joes!
Awesome photos and heart warming stories!
Thank you for your service!
(My son deploys for third mission next January)This will be his second Tour of Duty in Kuwait.First was Wartime Iraq.

rebecca said...

it is lovely to meet the Spadomen!
handsome all, and living real life straight from your hearts.
great picture of real life joes
swapping stories and feeling the greatness of a shared moment.

i want to thank you for your place in the haiku circle. next friday haiku my heart will celebrate three years of togetherness! you have a permanent place in all our hearts.

Priti Lisa said...

to share a family,
a name, an experience...
kindred souls are everywhere,
but it is especially nice
to know one so well.

Karen said...

I always thought it an honour to share a relative's first name. How wonderful that your uncle is still around to share thoughts with.

gma said...

It is important to ask the old ones questions while you still can. After they are gone I found myself wishing I had asked this or that. Great photos and post.

Anonymous said...

How very special to share your shared moments here. What a treasure for you to have this time with your uncle. I was in DC for the first time last week and visited the Vietnam Memorial. It was the most emotional and powerful experience.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I like your "funny fact"!

Ripening Seeds

Meri said...

young Joe far from home
eyes fierce with uncertainty
what fresh new hell waits

peggy gatto said...

A guy named joe!!!!
I loved "hearing your stories"
Happy birthday!!!!!!!!
: )

peggy gatto said...

Wait a minute, 2 more things
Happy Fathers day
thank you for your service!

Hazel said...

Happy birthday to Uncle Curly and to you. That's a nice patio photo of both of you. I think Joe Caruso is handsome.


Mel said...

Amazing....what a gift to get that time with Uncle Curly. And how cool the two of you got to kibbitz and spend the time together. Fruit cocktail--boy, I sure hope it was GOOD fruit cocktail.
Very cool photo, sir.

vietnamvet70 said...

Thanks for the story Joe. Not many WW2, or Korean vets left. If I notice one with a hat on, I make sure and thank them for their service. I think about our time in Vietnam often.

All the best Brother !!