Brothers in War Bonded by Blood

 

It was a hot summer in the year of 1944. In a small west Texas town lived a family of 7. There was a mother a father and 5 brothers. The brothers were all pretty close in age, except the youngest one had been spread out a little further, he was an unexpected child actually and was about 10 years younger than the eldest boy, whom was to be 20 this year. They all pretty much helped out on the farm where they lived. Days were long and hot in Texas and the boys helped out their dad everyday, either out picking cotton or doing something on the farm, as there was always something to do.

It had been a long hard depression and it was coming to a head, meat rationing throughout the United States had come to a halt. The war with Japan had started after that infamous day when Pearl Harbor got attacked. Now it looked like the United States had been dragged into the war in Europe and our brave American boys went.

The four oldest brothers decided that they were all going to enlist in the military in order to protect and defend their country. Their mother was against it entirely, their father looked upon it as something that needed to be done. Of course he didn’t want anything to happen to his boys but he had always been one to take care of business and he knew his boys needed to do this.

The eldest brother enlisted in the Army and so one by one they all went, two others in the Marines,and one in the Air Force. They were all spread throughout Europe. The youngest brother watched as his brothers went to war. He wanted to go with them; he kept his mother company while the brothers were gone, he accompanied her to church everyday as she prayed for her boys, everyday she and the youngest boy would kneel down and pray for the brothers and for their safe return. There didn’t seem to be an end in sight for this horrid war. Still everyday, the prayers, the candles, dreaming and hoping that it would finally come to an end.

Finally one at a time letters came to the house about the brothers. One was shot and wounded but he was fine and he was returning home soon. The mother wept and thanked the lord. The second letter wasn’t as promising. The eldest brother had been captured and at this time they regretted to inform that they had no idea how the eldest brother was doing or if he was even still alive. The mother fell to her knees and wept, prayed, more candles and more going to the church for hours at a time, everyday. The other two brothers were well and had even been writing on a regular basis and everyone was so grateful for that.

Finally the liberation of Europe had begun, the news came that the war was over and all prisoners were liberated, everyone celebrated, it was a joyous occasion. The family and friends and relatives just worried how the brothers would return, would they have limbs missing, would they be right in the head, would they be able to walk and run and most importantly would they ever be able to put this war behind them.

Surely as they all left one by one, one by one they returned. They came by plane, by bus and by train. The last one to come home was the eldest who had been shot and captured in Germany. He was frail and worn but he returned. The mother knelt down before them all and practically kissed their feet. They were all a little different when they returned, the father saw something in their eyes; he knew their eyes had seen things that no one should have to see and experience. The youngest brother seemed to be the happiest that he got his brothers back. Slowly as the days and years passed things got back to normal.

The year was 1949 and the youngest brother was not that little anymore, he had just turned 18 and had thoughts about going to college. He had met a girl in his last year of high school and things were progressing at a rapid pace. He had seen all his brothers marry and start having children and he was the next in line to wed.

Then in the summer of 1950, the letter arrived addressed to the younger brother. He had been drafted into the Army, he was on his way to Korea. Everyone was astonished that this could happen again. The mother could not let her baby go, of course he was already 18 and just the ripe age for drafting and introducing him to the horrors of war. What one country can do to another. He had no choice, he had to go and deep down he was proud to go, he had been too young to go to Europe to fight the tyranny of Hitler and Mussolini, but he was going to make his brothers and family proud and he would go do his duty. His marriage was going to have to wait until he returned. He took pictures of his family and of his girl and he boarded a bus to be inducted. He was a brave young man and when he said his final farewells to his family and his girl that day, deep down he felt in his heart that he would never see them again.

Months later another letter arrived at the farmhouse. The letter said that the youngest brother had been on a mission and was one of the soldiers that hadn’t returned, he was MIA. More tears from the mother, more trips to church and more candles to burn for the youngest brother. This time not any amount of candles would bring back the youngest brother. Yet another letter arrived in the winter of 1953, 3 years since the youngest brother vanished. It was a letter regretting to inform that the youngest brother had now been declared dead by the United States Army.

 My dad is the eldest brother who was a POW. He is standing next to his mom. He died in 1992.
My dad is the eldest brother who was a POW. He is standing next to his mom. He died in 1992.

Dedicated to my uncle the youngest brother.

This is what reads on the Korean War Project Remembrance- An organization to try to bring remains home to family through DNA.

PFC REFUGIO CANTU TAMAYO

31st Infantry Regiment
I CO

7th Infantry Division

Army

Hostile, Died While Missing (MIA)

Date Of Loss: December 12, 1950

Service Number: RA18346089

CAMERON COUNTY, TX

Location of Loss: HAMHUNG

Born: March 24, 1931

Comments: PFC Tamayo was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on December 12, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953.

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Comments 28 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Very moving account of a very brave and courageous family. Thank you for sharing your story.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Lady Jane, a sad story to be sure, and presented with dignity befitting such a man. So many who have returned and cremated, and sit on shelves waiting to be identified and or just claimed. There is a group that donates their time to doing just that. I read that even those Identified are left unclaimed. This group travels to these crematoriums seeking release so they can be interred with military honors in a Military grave yard.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

What a beautiful, moving story and tribute to your uncles and family.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

pop thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments and your kind words. I do have a special family along with so many others.

@Caliber thanks for reading. And thanks for that information. DNA from our family has been sent in but my uncle still has not been found, our hope is to bring his remains to American soil but we don't have much hope left.Cheers.

@drbj thanks for reading and for your nice comment. Cheers.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Beautiful and moving Hub. War is such a destructive and hurtful thing.

Thanks for sharing this story of love.

Love and peace

Tony


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Tony thanks for reading my hub. Of course I never knew my youngest uncle but I know what the war did to my father, he was the oldest brother who was a POW for several months and didnt come back the same. I know he was shell shocked for most of his life and he died in 1992, he so wanted to bring his brother home. CHeers and blessings.


geegee77 profile image

geegee77 6 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

That was very good, really sad also:(


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks geegee77! It was sad.


rosemary10 6 years ago

very touching I bet all the Vets out there can appreciate what you wrote. Makes me want to cry.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks rosemary you are sweet.


rosemary10 6 years ago

I really enjoyed the story. It is really ashame that all brothers could not have made it home alive. Really makes you feel for their poor mother, I would be a wreck if my children were in their shoes. If you ever decide to write a story about your dad and his experience on the European front as a P.O.W. I would really look forward to reading it. He certainly honored your family! Hat's off to him for his contribution and to you for your wonderful and enjoyable story even though the end was so sad. You have a gift so stick with it and keep writing. Greg


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

awwww thanks Greg.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Amazing story, ladyjane. Full of heartfelt emotions from way back then. Thank you so much for sharing this piece of not just history with us but the values within!


Marko M profile image

Marko M 6 years ago from Kingsville, Tx

LadyJane, once again you touch part of my soul I tend to keep in a locked box in the back of my heart. You besiege the truth of the horror of war, not just with what the dutiful brave soldier has had endure, but also with all the sadness and grief brought on lives back home. I hate war and I never wish anyone to experience it. Although I was in the Army, it was a peaceful time. Never the less, I was willing and able to do my duty to serve my country and defend the freedom of the oppessed. I was never in doubt of the fact that I might get shot and killed, but it alway bougthed me more that I might have to take someone else's life. After all, I was sure the guy on the other side just wanted to go home and be with family too. I was glad it never came to that. But, I will never forget the stories I heard from the many brave and beautiful souls of men I was honored and humbled to meet. They were well seasoned people and straight by the book guys. Yet many of them had such great sense of humor that it was hard to believe they were ever witness to the horrific physical and mental pains of war. I was a baby to them, but they always gave me such respect; even when they were pulling my leg. It was hard to believe they could still have such good character after many repeat tours in Vietnam. I love these guys and I would have died to protect them. Well ladyJane, thanks for sharing part of life, we sometimes take for granted, freedom.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

You are turning into quite an author, LadyJane. You got my attention form beginning to end. Very well done ...


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

This is a very moving and heart breaking story. You wrote the story very well. Thank you for sharing it with us.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 6 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

This was a beautiful true story ....God Bless you for writing it. As a mother who has a son in the navy who has been in harms way many times....I can truly say it is the hardest thing a mother can go through, and to get that dreaded letter - well I cannot even imagine. This story truly touched my heart -


kowality profile image

kowality 6 years ago from Everywhere

Thank You for this touching hub LadyJane. We live sheltered lives because of these brave men. Most of them had no idea the horrors their decision would lead to. It was all about selfless Duty and service to their Country.

I can't imagine what it is like to leave family and friends, not knowing if you'll ever see them again.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great story Ladyjane. You told it so well. There were two brothers that I heard of that died while in Nam. I saw but didn't know one of them. It was a truck ambush that took the last. Thank you.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Ann thanks for reading I appreciate you kind words,its always nice to see you on my hub.

@Marko thanks for reading and thanks for sharing part of your military experience as well. Your kind words are appreicated. I guess what they say is very true, "war is hell" not only on the ones there but on the ones that are left behind. Cheers.

@De Greek thanks for visiting and once again I humble myself in front of you with my scribblings. lol I appreciate that you read my hub and that it got your attention. I have always wondered what became of my uncle and wished I would have known him as a young man. Thanks again and Cheers.

@Pamela you are very sweet for saying that and thanks so much for taking the time to read it. Cheers.

@whidbeywriter thanks for reading and you are right I cant imagine having a child in the military you have shown lots of bravery especially during this horrible war. This is why I feel its important to write our stories so that these young men are never forgotten. Bless you.

@kowality thanks for your kind words and you are so right, we are a free country because of the sacrifice of many young men and women, afterall the price of freedom is blood and sacrifice and that is a sad fact. Blessings.

@Mickydee thanks for visiting and Im sorry about the brothers that you spoke of. Its so sad how many people have died in these horrid wars. I appreciate your feedback. Blessings to you.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

Thanks for this great story, well told ladyjane1. When will we ever learn?


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Amillar thanks for stopping by. I guess we will never learn until we give peace a chance as so eloquently stated by John Lennon. Cheers and blessings.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Yes - we must give peace a chance, Ladyjane. I appreciate your closeup look of what war is.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks Nellieanna its always nice to see you and to get your feedback. Cheers.


JaneA profile image

JaneA 6 years ago from California

Terrible sad story - what a beautiful remembrance.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

JaneA thanks for reading. This story about my family has haunted me for a long time and I have always wondered what my uncle would have been like. Thanks for reading and Cheers.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

LJ...thanks for sharing that story. That was a lot of suffering for one mother. When you see that it makes you realize why some folks have such a strong religious faith...it was all they had to keep them from going crazy with grief and worry. The irony of it all is that she lost the child that she never really considered she might lose. Like a thief in the night, death came to the door. Good Hub!


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Wayne nice to see you again and you got the whole point to my story...my grandmother thought that her suffering was over as she went through hell with four sons in the war and now the one too young to go before was the one that never returned. I remember being small and going into her bedroom and she practically had a shrine to him even after all those years she still had candles in front of his picture. I always wondered what he would have been like. Thanks again for reading. Cheers pal.

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