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John Spencer has felt like an invisible man since a tragic event in the John Spencer has felt like an invisible man since a tragic event in the IraqWar took his unit and his voice. John is no stranger to pain, but after alienating his friends and family and walking away from his For Lulzim, My Hero. On a beautiful summer day in August 19, , Mide Osmani received the news that On a beautiful summer day in August 19, , Mide Osmani received the news that would change her life forever. Her only son tragically lost his life to suicide. In spite of his physical challenges as a young boy, Lou Forgotten Hero.
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Byline: Ernie Pyle | History | Air & Space Magazine
Dallas rode the buttes and ravines of the Z bar 3 Ranch that had been Dallas rode the buttes and ravines of the Z bar 3 Ranch that had been handed down through the family for over a hundred years. It was his turn to lead the Ziglar Empire and he had failed. He wanted to travel, to see the world, and to write about what he saw. Ernie talked Jerry into quitting her job and joining him on a trip across the country. They circled the whole country, living mostly in the field. Two months later they ended up in New York, tired and broke. Ernie went to work as a copywriter for the New York Evening World.
Pyle could not settle down to an inside job at the newspaper. By , Ernie had begun a cross-country drive with Jerry at his side, writing his adventures along the way. As a roving reporter, Ernie had a folksy style that readers quickly took to. Soon his columns were being carried by other papers in the chain, occasionally at first, but gradually as a regular feature in many of the Scripps-Howard family of newspapers.
The travel itinerary to isolated places such as the Aleutian Island chain proved to be too demanding for Jerry. Gradually she gave up regularly accompanying him, and their marriage suffered as a result. She became morose during his absences, turning first to medication and then to alcohol when they were apart. Initially though, travel to Europe held no attraction for him. A midwestern American, he had a deep-set suspicion of Europeans, foreign languages, and strange customs. As the war grew in intensity his office tried to persuade him to make a trip overseas to report on what was taking place in England.
Finally, he consented.
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Jerry moved back to their small home in Albuquerque, NM, to await his return. Ernie began mailing back columns concerning the effects of the German Blitz on London. He reported on the bombings, the fires, and the resulting deaths and damage to the ordinary people and their city. The American public ate up the reports he sent. Ernie spent three months in London.
Pyle brought the war home to Americans in a manner that had never been previously accomplished. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. In November , he followed the American landing into North Africa. It is difficult to describe all of the reasons for his success. He seemed most at home just shooting the bull with infantrymen. He listened rather than talked. He had the ability to capture their feelings on paper, to relate those things that mattered most to his subjects.
Whenever possible, when the censors let him, he included the name and the hometown of every GI that he interviewed. In turn, his readers Stateside reacted positively to his style of writing. Eventually his columns, picked up by an increasing number of newspapers, found their way back to the front, sent by friends and relatives of the soldiers.
As time passed, the GIs saw in Ernie a friend who told about their experience in the field the way it really was. Pyle was soon welcomed everywhere by high-ranking officers on down to the lowliest enlisted man. As the U. Army crossed northern Africa, Pyle vividly described the blood of battle—the victories as well as the defeats. He never hesitated to state that he was no hero. He tried to stay out of dangerous situations, seeking to carry the message back home without being killed in the process.
Offered the opportunity to fly with bombing missions over enemy territory, he declined, deciding that the risks involved outweighed what could be learned from the experience. Personally very shy when it came to participating in large gatherings of either troops or civilians, Ernie vigorously avoided any attempt to place him in the limelight. Slight in stature, his health remained borderline throughout his days in the field.
He regularly experienced severe headaches and suffered constantly from colds. A heavy smoker, he also drank to excess from time to time when he fell in with old friends. Although he looked for warm and safe places to set up his bases of operation, if his reporting made the exposure necessary, he would also live in the field with the infantrymen he so admired. On July 20, , Pyle went ashore in Sicily, 10 days after D-day. The Germans and Italians fiercely resisted the landings on the island.
The Italian civilians, on the other hand, enthusiastically welcomed the Americans. He wanted the people back home to know that the military did everything it could to take care of the wounded. He urged the people on the home front to give blood because it would be used to save the lives of the infantrymen on the front lines.
At the conclusion of the campaign in Sicily, Pyle returned home to the States for a brief break from wartime reporting. Government officials, newspaper organizations, veterans groups, and others constantly besieged him with requests for interviews and speeches on his experiences in Italy. These demands left him little time to spend with Jerry, whose mental health had by this time taken a turn for the worse. Moreover, while in Washington, Pyle had become involved with the wife of another reporter assigned overseas.
Both had marital problems, it seemed, and the two found escape in what appears to have been a lighthearted relationship. Despite the dangers involved, Pyle went into the battle at the infamous Anzio beachhead. He constantly faced death from enemy artillery fire and heavy bombing during his stay there. On one occasion, a bomb destroyed the building in which Pyle was sleeping.
The concussion from the explosion threw him across the room he occupied, which was reduced to rubble. His rescuers could not believe that he had lived through the attack.
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GIs sought him out and considered it a privilege to have the opportunity to talk with him. Pyle never changed throughout his journalistic career; he maintained his low profile approach to reporting, preferring to listen and write rather than to dominate the conversation with the soldiers he encountered. He had an unerring instinct for what made a good story.
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Both his readers and the GIs themselves came to regard him as a man who could separate the truth, the reality, from the shambles and confusion of battlefield activity. He had no respect for self-important military leaders. During a lull in the fighting at the Anzio beachhead, Ernie Pyle visits with a tank crew of the st Tank Battalion. During the Italian Campaign, Pyle wrote a story that came to be ranked among his best. He described the grief felt by a group of infantrymen when the body of their highly regarded company captain was returned from the front line:.
We went out into the road. Four mules stood there waiting. Other men took the other bodies off. Finally there were five, laying end to end in a long row, alongside the road. They just lie there in the shadows until somebody else comes after them. Not so much to look, I think, as to say something in finality to him, and to themselves.
Another one came.
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Another man came; I think he was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the half light, for all were bearded and grimy dirty. And then he got up and walked away down the road in the moonlight, all alone. We lay down on the straw in the cowshed, and pretty soon we were all asleep. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley.
On the other hand, he had little respect for General George S. Patton, Jr. Early in , Ernie joined the host of reporters gathering in England for the anticipated invasion of Normandy.
WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle became the voice of the fighting man in World War II.
There, he encountered a host of old friends and a flood of correspondence arriving at the rate of letters a week. Many came from infantry Joes whom he had spent time with in Italy. Finally, Ernie accepted help from the Army, which assigned him a public relations officer.
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