From the time I was a young girl, I felt such pity for him because of his experiences. I could only imagine the hardships and atrocities he'd endured and witnessed at war, and especially as a lad in that CONCENTRATION CAMP.
It was about ten years ago when I realized that he was never in a concentration camp. I was taking my parents for a drive through Jefferson Barracks National Park when we spied an old wooden barracks building with a sign that caught his attention.
Long sober, he said, "I was a member of the CCC." I thought, Oh no! I parked the car and we went inside the new museum. He gazed into his past at photos and artifacts from the Great Depression. The Civillian Conservation Corp was part of the New Deal endorsed by President Roosevelt.
The CCC operated under the army's control. Camp commanders had disciplinary powers and the young corpsmen were required to address superiors as “sir.” By September 1935 over 500,000 young, poor men had lived in CCC camps, most staying from six months to a year. The work focused on soil conservation and reforestation. The men planted millions of trees on land made barren from fires, natural erosion, or lumbering—in fact, the CCC was responsible for over half the reforestation, public and private, done in the nation's history. Corpsmen also dug canals and ditches, built over thirty thousand wildlife shelters, stocked rivers and lakes with nearly a billion fish, restored historic battlefields, and cleared beaches and campgrounds.
The CC camp was not a concentration camp.
So, for all of those years, I was mistaken. Everybody makes mistakes.
Don't allow a mistake, hard work or rejection to stop you in your writing tracks.
Don't allow a misunderstanding to affect your relationships.
Don't bow your head in shame and embarrassment and turn away. Turn around.
Erect a virtual bridge, mend a family fence, plant a shade tree to sit beneath and contemplate.
Next time you are in a park, walking a trail, or visiting a campground in the US, remember the young men who worked hard to provide these places for our enjoyment.