Civil War reenacting brings together individuals unlike
many others I’ve met throughout my lifetime.
I suppose being 63, that’s saying something. Many of my comrades in Civil War arms never saw actual
military service while others did and in a big way.
I do want to point out one particular reenactor though as it is most fitting that I do at this time. Both he, his wife and his daughter all became quite involved in reenacting. Their warmth and friendliness have always been up front and genuine. And because of this attribute to the Paul family, I cannot honestly say when we first met as it has seemed as if I’ve known them most of my life. Now we know it had to be some time AFTER November 1993 when I first became involved in the hobby. So I will leave it there and go on.
Jerry did a great service to his country in being a United States Marine. He didn’t brag or boast of his accomplishments, but from what little he did say, I am to understand he served with valor at a place called Viet Nam. Now you may say, “So What! So did a lot of others”. But we aren’t talking about “others” today. We’re talking about a fellow reenactor who came to be among us and to share his interest in the hobby as most of his fellow reenactors.
His bride, and daughter joined his ranks and the Pauls were known throughout our family of Civil War buffs ever since.
Saturday afternoon, June 24th, 2000, Jerry left his bride and daughter. He left his Company K and his 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He left a big void in the hearts and minds of those who knew him and understood his pain of the past. Only Jerry knows whether he made “closure” with that terrible experience called “Viet Nam”. Only Jerry knew what most of us never realized was haunting him all these years.
My heart goes out to his soul mate, ……… and to his daughter Beth and all the other family members I never met, but who I’m sure loved and will be missing him in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
It is customary for who ever offers the graveside rites to ask, “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” If my faith and trust in Jesus Christ can offer any comfort to the Pauls at this time, I ask for our Savior to step in and give me the right words to say in reassuring us all that there IS life after death and that Jerry Paul is safely in a place far better then what he left behind. Absent of the body is to be present with the Lord.
I pray that the sting of death to the Pauls is replaced with a peace that is above all understanding and that Jerry’s victory over death is as reassuring as Christ’s death and resurrection has been to so many throughout all time. - Amen
Fred G. Cook