I went down to my grandparents today to help my grandpa out with his computer. The fact that my grandpa is 84 and owns a computer amuses many people, including me, but excluding my grandmother. As usual, my grandfather starts telling stories about the past, most of these are the same stories and lectures I have been hearing since I was a youngling. Some are boring, especially the political lectures and the stories that accompany them. Though I have to admit, I have learned a lot from them. Every once in a while though he pulls out a story that he has never told before, and today was one of those days.
My grandpa was a corporal in the 19TH infantry regiment, 24TH Division, C company, during the Korean war. He said that one day they had taken a hill from the North Korean Army, and that their was a N.K. soldier who couldn’t have been any older than 16, that was still in his fox hole. The soldier was scared out of his mind, and in the fear was holding on to his rifle and would not let it go. Two U.S. soldiers were trying to pull it from him, but this kid would not let go. Finally a sergeant walked up and ran the kid through with his bayonet. My grandpa said that this sergeant was not well liked after this incident, and most of the soldiers shunned him, My grandpa said that he was always nice to the sergeant after that, but never went out of his way to be the sergeants friend. A few weeks later the 24th Division was retreating across a river, and the sergeant was killed. My grandpa said that this was around the 20th of September.
My grandpa then said about a month later, in October, he was on a forward patrol with a few other men, including his lieutenant. He said that he became very sick, and should not have even been out there, but he never reported his illness to anyone. Not that it would have mattered at that time anyway. He said that on this night they had laid their sleeping bags out on the ground, and that most of the patrol was sleeping. He felt someone stepping on/kicking his should. As my grandpa woke up he saw someone standing over him in the dark, but could not focus his eyes as it was dark, and he was still waking up. My grandpa asked “what do you want? What’s going on?”
He said the figure never said a word, and just pointed to the North.
At this point the just waking up fog lifted from his eyes, and he saw that it was the before mentioned (and dead) sergeant. He said the sergeant then turned around, took a couple steps, and then was gone.
His Lt called out to him “Heath, who are you talking to?” at which point my grandfather said, “Nothing, I was just dreaming.” My grandpa said that he lay their after that, trying to explain what he saw, and coming to the conclusion that it must be his fever. While he was coming to this conclusion, he said a bunch of bugles started blowing to the North. He said his Lt jumped up, gathered everyone up, and some how they got back to the American lines without getting caught.
The bugles were the Chinese. They had invaded the Korean Peninsula, and were massing for an attack.
My grandpa says that to this day he can’t explain what he saw. He is a very practical man, very logical, not prone to a wild imagination, does not believe in an afterlife or the supernatural, and does not make up stories. He has told himself over the years that it was a hallucination brought on by his fever. However, in recent years he has thought of the figure pointing towards the North, not even 20 minutes before the Chinese attacked. It bothers him. He asked me what I thought about it, and I had only one thing to tell him.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”