Tex McDonald, Former Mayor of Maysville

Since 1990, on Memorial Day the person I think of first is Tex McDonald. Tex is short for Texas and , yes, that is his given name. In 1990, my wife and I rented a house from Tex and his wife, Olive, and stayed for two years. The house was next door to Tex's residence. When I paid rent I simply walked next door and handed Tex the check.

Being the friendly sort Tex and Olive would always invite me in for a chat. Being the friendly sort myself, I always accepted the invitation. Almost every visit included Tex relating his experiences as a infrantyman in World War II. Although I was nearly 40 when I first met Tex, I never had any real understanding of the experiences of war.

Serving in North Africa under Patton, Tex saw his buddies ground into the sand my German tanks that would stop over a foxhole, reverse one tread and spin in place until it had ground the soldiers in the foxhole into the dirt. He said he could still hear his fellow soldiers screams. From the inflection of Tex's voice, I knew he did.

Tex fought in many battles and eventually lost half of a leg in the Battle of Monte Cassino at the Rapido River in Italy. This was especially difficult injury for Tex as he had been a star basketball player in high school. Coincidentally, one of my sister's father-in-law was captured by the Germans in the same battle.

Tex died a few years ago. He had survived to be mayor of the small town where he lived. A street now bears the name "McDonald." But his memory, although I only knew him for a short time, lives on in the stories he told me. Greater than the actual details of battles and events was the emotion in his voice. His experiences as a soldier left an impact still visible after nearly 50 years.

From the blog of DADvocate

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