|Reader salutes late WWII veteran Gurule|
|Monday, March 19, 2012|
To the Editor:
On March 10, 2012, at age 91, Freddie Gurule passed away at his home. A quiet, unassuming man, you would never assume that he was a war hero.Freddie first came to Lebanon during the maneuvers of World War II. He served in the Pacific Theatre during the war. Freddie was bilingual and while stationed in the Philippines, his unit was assigned to work with Philippine Rangers. His unit received numerous citations.
When Gen. Douglas McArthur left the Philippines, Freddie’s unit was left behind. After some time, his men ran out of food and medicine. Freddie sewed his dog tags into his shorts and dressed as a native. Accompanied only by a burro, he foraged and traded for medicine and rice.
On several occasions, he was stopped on bridges by the Japanese, but since he spoke Filipino and Spanish, he was always assumed to be Filipino. After harassment and beatings, he was always released and returned to his unit.
Freddie received the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Philippines Legion of Merit and numerous other awards and medals.
Upon returning from war, he married, settled in Lebanon and raised his prized Palomino. He made the last cattle drive for the Lebanon Stock Market in the late 1950s.
To my hero, I salute you, Chief Warrant Officer.
Haywood P. (Pete) Norman IV