Route 7 Review - Page 39

Final Salute BY GAIL EISENHART He returned after D-Day muzzled by memories, his voice buried in the Argonne Forest. Grizzled and abandoned, he made his way to the Biloxi Veterans Administration hospital. Hanging around the back gate of the maintenance shed, he accepted our free coffee, tapping his foot as he hummed Cajun ditties he learned as a boy. Unsteady, he wavered like a windblown shadow, never mentioned family or even told us his name. Today, the staff nurses will bathe his scars, remove years of tear-stained grime from his face. We will carry him carefully to a field blooming with white crosses, solemnly salute and send our hero home.