|The Great Wall|
|Our server sliced|
our freshly cooked
|Laura, Chelsea, Lili, and Carissa|
during their hike of The Great Wall
The veteran that I have been blessed to accompany on this trip is Colonel Bob Hemlinger. Mr. Hemlinger is by far the most genuine and wise man that I know. In addition to learning about his time as a Marine in China from 1947-49, and the part he played in Charlie Two-Shoes’ incredible journey, I have spent this time uncovering every sweet and interesting detail about this man. Bob and I have developed a relationship so sweet that I can do nothing but thank God for allowing our paths to cross. I look forward to continuing to being a part of his life.
|Chelsea and Bob walk together to The Great Wall.|
During the trip, Mr. Hemlinger has drilled the phrase, “ladies first” into my head. Whether it is entering a doorway, exiting a bus, or serving our food at every meal, he insists that I am first. If I try to do otherwise I get a glare. At first I thought the glare was intimidating, but now I see the love and kindness behind the look he gives while a grin is trying to form.
Bob and his wife Deniece have been married for 63 years. Bob was 19 when he married her, and everyone on this trip has noticed in one way or another how deeply in love he is with his wife. Bob shows off her picture and refers to her as being too beautiful for her age. Mr. Hemlinger is a retired high school football coach and social studies teacher. His knowledge and desire to learn history has opened my eyes to see all the details I have been missing for so long.
The past 10 days have been extremely rewarding. I am going to truly miss this Texan that now calls me his 5th granddaughter. Bob recently moved to North Carolina, but I pray that I get to see the man again who told me, “I entered the war a boy, but left a man.”