I buried my father recently. You likely didn't read about it, but his passing was significant because he was a genuine American hero. A typical depression-era small-town Texas boy, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at age 19. A crew chief on B-24 Liberator bombers, he survived 32 missions over enemy territory; on every mission his plane was riddled like swiss cheese by enemy bullets and flak and twice he fired his .50-cal guns until they froze up. On one occasion his plane was shot down and he was the only surviving crew member; he spent some time in a field hospital and returned to action as soon as he was able. The 455th bomber group's pounding of German industrial targets played a significant part in destroying the Nazi's war effort and he and his unit were well-decorated. After WWII he was called back to serve in the Korean War even though he had married and started a family. After serving honorably in that conflict he returned to Texas where he and his bride raised three children. He worked hard, paid his taxes, and was a respected member of his church and his community. He loved his Lord and his family. On August 7, 2009, lung cancer did what the Luftwaffe couldn't--it killed the old soldier. One more member of the greatest generation has fallen, and I wonder if we will ever see their like again. RIP Jack Phelps, 1922-2009.