Charley’s passing reminded me to call my friend, Jack Holder. I’d met him on that trip to Hawaii and stayed in contact. He’d even flown in from his home in Phoenix to give a speech at theCHIVE HQ in Austin.
Jack survived Pearl Harbor to fly his B24 long-range bomber on 34 mission over the Pacific Theatre after which he was given the option to return to the United States, politely declined, then flew 56 missions over Europe. Jack never lost a plane or a single crewman. Jack Holder is one of the most decorated airmen in the history of modern aviation. How he still golfs everyday with those huge brass balls is beyond me.
I told Jack about Charley and how I wanted to do something this Memorial Day to honor his memory and the memories of all those who gave the last full measure. I had this idea – I was thinking of doing a nationwide toast to the memory of all those who died but didn’t know if that was a good idea?
“That’s absolutely what you should do, John. In fact I’m going to dinner with my fiance in a spell and I’ll send you a picture” (94 years old and in love, this guy.)