The Simple Thing a Teenage Girl Did for a World War II Vet That He ‘Can’t Ever Forget’
On Thursday, the vivacious veteran said there was one thing he remembered most about coming home five years later: how a young woman thanked him for his service.
“I picked up my barracks bag and I went out and got on a bus to go home,” he said. “While I’m on the bus I was still limping, and a young girl got up. She must have been about 16 or 15. She said, ‘Soldier, take my seat.’ And that was the best homecoming you could ever have.”
Andert said that after getting “$30 and a car token” and being told to “go home,” the kind actions of the girl almost “tore [him] apart.”
“It really, really — I can’t ever forget it,” he said. “And every time I see a young girl … I always remember the reception I got. And it was more important than any damn parade or anything like that.”
Speaking on The Glenn Beck Program, Andert remembered the day he met Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Dwight Eisenhower.
“Churchill came out of the back of the train, and Eisenhower came along,” he recalled. “He came up to me, I was at the head of the platoon, and he said, ‘You’re kind of young to be a platoon sergeant, aren’t you?’”
“I’d already been in Africa and Sicily, you know!” Andert recalled. “And I said, ‘Yes, sir!’ He said, ‘You lied about your age?’ And I said, ‘Yes, sir!’”
“Churchill was the greatest man of World War II because he always said, ‘You never, never give up,” Andert added. “And I looked at him almost this close when he said that — ‘Never, never give up.’”
After Andert was injured, he woke up in an Army hospital in England. He noticed that he was on one side of the hospital, and all the Americans were somewhere else.
“I yelled out, ‘What in the hell’s going on here?’” he recalled. “Two nurses run over and they said, ‘You’re an American!’ I said, ‘You’re damn right.’ I took out my dog tags and said, ‘You never even checked me!’”
The nurses told him that after they cut off his pants to treat him, he was put there “to be interrogated as a prisoner of war.”
Shortly thereafter he was given the option to go home, which he declined.
“You think I’m going to go home and sit by the radio, and hear what’s going on and wonder what’s happening to my guys the whole time because I left them?” he demanded. “I’m going back.”
Andert, who participated in seven campaigns and two major landings during World War II, receiving a silver star, three bronze stars and two purple hearts for his actions, recalled a rule of Patton’s.
“He never wanted to see one man by himself — ever,” Andert said. “It was always to be two people, never one … and one of them has to be in charge. And they’d say, ‘Well, how will we know who’s in charge?’ And he said, ‘The one with the lowest serial number is in charge of the other person.’ … Even in the States, he wanted to see two men together.”
Patton also told his men to know their enemy’s “plan” and “be as dirty as he is or you’re not going to win.”