I have been working on a paradise box for a tribute to a Retired Brigadier General for a while.
My wife moved her Mother into a very nice assisted living facility in our town about 4 months ago and I met this terrific guy one day while visiting her. He turned 98 this month and talking to him is like talking to someone that’s 50, not 98. After several months talking to him I discovered he flew missions in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He retired as a General in the Air Force in 1979 after joining the Army in 1942 as a young man. He was transferred to the Air Force in 1947 when it was split off from the Army. This guy has had a terrific career serving our country, and in my opinion is one of our great American heroes. He is so humble he gives all his success to his men which I found out was over 16,000 under his command. I saw him shed a tear once when hearing “America the Beautiful”, and he gets choked up when discussing the Vietnam wall, and thinking of the men lost in multiple wars protecting this great country.
He wrote a bio about his life and on the last page he had a summary of his life which I carved inside the lid of his box. In his Bio he refers to himself as Mr. Lucky so look at the formula he created to describe one’s luck inside the lid of the box.
Very Nice Work. Love the inscription and his summation. I am sure he will be quite pleased. I am sure talking with him is like reading through a history book. Always good to talk to the old timers. Doesn't seem like there is near enough of that happening these days. Thanks for sharing his story and your work.
Excellent layout work on what will be a cherished gift to the gentleman (and his family). This is the kind of thing that Michael's Paradise Box project is very good for. It will make your effort to make it very worth while when you see his reaction to it.
Thank you all for the kind words. It was certainly my privilege to make this box for the General.
I took the box over to him yesterday and he was very happy with it. He was playing bridge with some other folks. One of the guys (Ben) not in the picture flew on a bomber over 27 missions during World War II also in his late 90’s. Both these guys’ planes were full of bullet holes when returning to base.
You can see the General’s Mustang hat. He flew many other planes during his career but I think the mustang was one of his favorite planes. The General was telling me when he was a very young boy that he and his family traveled across this country in a covered wagon. Imagine that.
These folks are about gone and I for one will miss them and the stories only they can tell. Mark
The box is beautiful, and it's great that you had the opportunity to meet this hero. It's very sad to hear of his passing but, it's something special, knowing that he liked the box so much, that he chose it to be his final resting place.
1. First of all your project for the General was absolutely stunning. 2. As a retired army man the story behind it tore at my heart and brought back a ton memories. 3. Thank You for taking the time to salute a man from the greatest generation 4. I know you touched him in a way many people never experience in their life but the best part is you were part of it. thank you again for sharing the story and for a very thoughtful project (KARMA IS REAL)