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Oklahoma veteran recalls wartime Thanksgiving

William Harper, 88, of Okmulgee, said military cooks managed to provide a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving for U.S. Amery soldiers on the front lines in Germany in 1944.
BY THERESA GREEN Published: November 22, 2012

There was no festive table on which to eat, but that didn't bother the cold and hungry soldiers.

“We had to sit on the ground, but we were so happy to have something good to eat,” Harper said. “It was such a relief. It made us feel like we were back home.”

After the war, Harper stayed in Europe for several years as part of the Army of Occupation. When he returned to Oklahoma, he married, completed three college degrees and became a history professor.

The war is not history he remembers fondly, but even in the darkness of battle, he remembers how others helped bring some light into the troops' lives that Thanksgiving on the front lines.

“I will never forget how brave our cooks were,” said Harper. “Our war was put on hold while we had turkey with all the trimmings.”

Theresa Green is a media representative for Rebold Manor.


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