A D-Day lesson on being a man

Ensley Maxwell LlewllynMy sons, here in the Man Cave, have an amazing example of what it means to be a Man, in their father. They’re blessed, also to have wonderful grandparents and uncles. I’ve also told them the story of another man. One who was at the beach in Normandy, France, 70-years-ago. General Llewellyn. Everyone in my neighborhood said his name as: “GENERAL Llewellyn.” Not Ensley, Mr. Llewellyn or grandpa (as he was an older man, at that time). But “General Llewellyn.”

It was when I – a child in grade school – was assigned a class on WWII, that I ‘interviewed’ him.

I learned he was one of the first to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He was on the first jeep that rode into San Michelle, France, to crowds of newly liberated Frenchmen. He served in both the European theater and the South Pacific. BUT what I remember the most? He talked so proudly about starting the Stars and Stripes War Orphan Fund.

This didn’t surprise me. He had kids and grandkids and always passed out candy during the break between services at church. Perhaps years of war made him cherish those smiles – on little faces – just a bit more than others did.

Years later, when I was set to graduate from the University of Washington, I had a request. I wanted to go to graduate school. Would he write me a recommendation?

“What are you going to study?” he asked. I wanted to be a journalist. REALLY wanted to be a journalist.
“OH!” He said, in full support, “I was the head of the Stars and Stripes Newspaper during World War Two! Which university are you applying to?”
“Cardiff University in Wales (UK)“
“Oh!” He said, “My family RULED Wales for a time…” Needless to say I got into the University. But what stays with me the most, is that when I was a child – doing my ‘first interview’ – how PROUD he was about starting that fund to help war orphans.

These are the men who took the beach. These are the men who won the war. These are the men who are an integral part of our country. These are the men that I pray OUR sons and THEIR sons will keep in mind as they grown and learn and love. Thank you to them, and God bless them.

This has been an actual conversation in the Man Cave. What’s the Man Cave? Read this.

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