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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MR. JOHN T. MARKEY

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Sometimes you never meet people in the oddest ways!

TLW (The Little Woman) works, as you might know at the Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Co., a credit union of note here on Long Island. My wife’s job is to sit with people who want to do car loans, boat loans and transfer money from one account to another. Sometimes she gives these “members” advice as to what to do. In that spirit she makes followers who go only to her and she builds friendships in a business way. Then at dinner she will mention a person or two in the course of her day and how she helped them and their reaction to that help. One such member was a 92 year-old man named Mr. John T. Markey.

Mr. Markey became friends with TLW, would seek her out and knew a lot about her life and she knew a lot about his life. His life was an interesting one, filled with pride for his service to this country during World War II, as a young 22-year old soldier landing on the beaches of Normandy under fire from the German coastal guns and machine and rifle fire along the beach. He indeed was a hero.

Mr. Markey asked one day about me, and my wife called with a question about World War II, which I answered correctly. She explained to me that Mr. Markey a former history teacher and war hero as he was wanted to see how much I knew about the war he fought in, and was impressed that I knew the answer.

In a subsequent visit by the gentleman, he came in with a book about the war, a  collection of cartoons: ‘Bill Mauldin’s Army’ and gave it to TLW for me to have, along with a very interesting book about FDR and the case about our fore-knowledge of Pearl Harbor and how we may have caused it to happen deliberately.

I decided to draw a cartoon in the Maulden style of two guys in a foxhole and one mentioning to the other Mr. Markey’s name about some event or happenstance of which eludes me. He loved the thank you note and sent more books.

As the time went by he would go to the Wanna-Be-Bank & Truss Company and ask how the “History Buff” was, meaning me. In one or two of those visits he would bring more books for me to read about WWII.

TLW would send birthday cards to the man and I would sign it too. One day TLW came home to tell me he was not doing well, and was in a Veteran’s home, assuming it was the one next to Stony Brook University Hospital. I decided to visit him there, maybe make it a habit of visiting him, I was retired and could afford to spend some time with the man, it would be in my mind good quality time. I called the Veteran’s Home and inquired about the visiting hours, and where I could find my friend I hadn’t met yet, and was told there was no such name listed either with the hospital or the home!

Then last week I got the awful news that Mr. Markey had passed! Mr. Markey, who I never met, the war hero who I admired, had gone off to another life: he was finished here on Earth.

So the man I admired for his bravery, his real service to America, was gone and I never met him. Sad.

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