Saturday, May 24, 2014

In Honor and Memory: Wilbur M. Mix

Today I have had Papa on my mind. Papa Mix was my father-in-law. He was born in Oklahoma. His sister, who was just 4 years older, was born when Oklahoma was still a territory. By the time Papa was born, it had become a state. He had an interesting life ~ never graduated from high school, a fact he never told his son until his son had his PhD. He made money as a boxer and a ball room dancer. One day he heard the call of God and went to seminary and became a preacher. 

In the fall of 1941, he signed up for a year’s stint as an army chaplain. On the 7th of December, on the way home from service, he heard the news. He went upstairs, put on his full uniform, brought down his helmet, strapped some gear to his belt (I don’t know if that included a gun - I’m not sure if chaplains carried them), kissed his family good-bye and said he wasn’t sure when he would return. Mama and their 7 year old son returned to Texas and Papa sailed for England and the war. 

He served with distinction, being honorably discharged close to the end of the war. He was in a unit under the command of General George S. Patton who was heard to comment after an inspection tour, “Even the G * * d* * * chaplain is a soldier.” Thanks for your years as a soldier, Papa! 


Paula said...
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Phil Miller said...

Chaplains don't bear arms, carry weapons, or engage directly in combat because they are noncombatants. At the same time (according to the Geneva Conventions), they're not considered Prisoners of War, if captured, but detainees.

While the Geneva Conventions date only to 1941, I believe that even in 1941 Wilbur Mix would not have carried or used a weapon. He was too busy thumbing through his Bible or offering his hand for a prayer.

Tahoe Mom said...

Thanks, Phil. I thought I was right about the weapons but really wasn't sure. Although he loved his entire life's ministry, he said he thought he did his best work during those army years.