Promises Worth Keeping

Charlie S. Cantrell, Jr. WWII and Korea USNThe handsome young man in the photo is my father, Charlie S. Cantrell, Jr. I wanted to share it today because I am so proud of his service. He went into the Navy at age 17 and served on the USS Pennsylvania BB38. He was a baker and also ran the port side guns. His was the flagship for the fleet.

He was a young boy from Moody, Texas who saw a great deal during his time in WWII and Korea. His best friend was a US Marine who was on his ship. His Marine shipmate was sent into battle but they made the promise to each other that when he got back they would go on liberty and get a beer. They even took a dollar bill and ripped it in half so my dad and his buddy would each have a half of the dollar to be used for the beer they would have when they were again reunited.

But my father’s Marine Buddy was killed and this always weighed heavy on his heart. After my dad passed, over five years ago, I was going through his treasures of WWII and Korea and found his small wallet with a half of a dollar bill tucked safely away. My heart skipped a beat and my eyes filled with tears because I knew what this meant to my dad.

I was honored to have known the significance of this half of a dollar bill.



Promises Worth Keeping — 2 Comments

  1. B, thank you for sharing such a personal and cherished memory of one of our nations finest men. The service that you give so generously and selflessly is also greatly appreciated and you are so dearly loved. I cannot express my gratitude for all you do for our military and especially for my dad, he really did adore you as do I. Semper Fidelis B, love and hugs

  2. Dear Bridget,
    What a touching story, and how sad for your Dad that his friend was killed. These seemingly natural aspects of war are replete with a kind of longing of the human heart that can surface at times like this. The vulnerabilities of men should not be overlooked in their service. We should not take it for granted that even though they are willing to kill to protect the motherland, they have needs and feelings underneath that ability. There is so much to be attributed to such a story. I think Veterans for Peace are trying to embrace a deeper need to confront the inner planes of conflict that lead to war. I wish it was not so difficult an issue. Thank you for your work with those who have given their lives who still suffer. I agree with the earlier post on the presence of you. With Love, C’elle

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