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Soldier remembers comrades, wound

May 30, 2000|By JOSH POLTILOVE

HALFWAY - Brady Haines said he felt neither fear nor pain when shrapnel tore into his right arm.

He was in a foxhole in Belgium on Dec. 17, 1944, when he was wounded.

Medics cut open his Army uniform, saw how bad things looked and gave him a shot for the pain.

Haines, who was 19 at the time, said he realizes he was fortunate that only his arm took the hit. After 16 months in a hospital and several surgeries, his arm was scarred but he was able to use it. On Tuesday he thought about all those things at the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County's Memorial Day service at Martin L. "Marty" Snook Park.

"(Tuesday) is really a great day to remember," Haines said. "It brings back memories of my fallen comrades. Maybe I'm still here to appreciate what has been done."

Richard Nigh, another former soldier, said he had wanted to fight in the Korean War but said he was lucky to have served in Germany instead.

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"I don't know how many of my buddies died over in Korea, but I know there's a bunch of them," said Nigh, 72. "Why I was the only one to go over to Germany, I'll never know. The man upstairs was looking out for me or something, I guess."

Haines said it was a miracle he survived, but he is glad he had the opportunity to serve his country.

He said his three brothers, who also fought in World War II, survived as well.

"I really consider myself very, very lucky to be here," Haines said. "I could have been wiped out I could have died from loss of blood, but fortunately I was spared."

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