The doctor pronounced to me what I had already expected to hear; my right eye is in need of cataract treatment. The left eye is not far behind. Perhaps both will be treated by summer. I am very hopeful.
My right eye has been very good to me. I have been blessed with excellent vision. That became more evident to me when I first picked up a military 22 in the basement of the gym at Ouachita. The ROTC firing range was down there. We fired at small bull's eyes on cardboard sheets at fifty feet.. My experience in firing any kind of weapon was limited then. I had fired a shotgun once or twice and a 22 just a bit more. My weapon of choice was a Daisy BB gun with Red Ryder pictured on the stock. I could " shoot your eye out" .. With a steady hand and clear eye, marksmanship was a natural for me. I made the Rifle Team at Ouachita my freshman year, lettering all four years. We were state champions two of those years. In going through an old scrapbook this morning I saw a news clipping telling of my being high scorer in a match against West Point!!
At Fort Benning in Basic Officer Training I qualified "expert" in M1 Rifle, Carbine, and BAR (That stood for Browning Automatic Rifle). All of that went in my records so that when I arrived in Germany in 1955 I was assigned to Second Armored Division and my name was selected to be coach of the Small Arms team which would fire in the Seventh Army Match in early Fall of 55'. I mention all of this to brag a bit, but mainly to tell you I didn't really know what I was doing! I was blessed with a group of guys who really could "shoot your eye out". I just got them to practice each day and then on a train that traveled halfway across West Germany to this huge range once occupied by German troops.
At the competition all the Generals of the competing divisions were present. I think they may have been making bets on which team would win. We had competition with the M1 Rifle, 30 cal Carbine, 45 Pistol, and sub-machine gun! These were all weapons from the battlefields of WW 2,years earlier.
My guys swept the competition and Second Armored Division won. (General Patton would have been proud of his boys. He had commanded Second Armored at an earlier time. He died ten years before this event.). I was in shock when I arrived back at Mainz and my Base I received a Certificate of Achievement from Headquarters and signed by the commander,, Major General Clark L Ruffner. In the certificate was a most significant sentence...."The professional competence and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Pogue in this important assignment are indeed worthy of high praise".
That statement caused them to honor me with a parade, as i stood on the reviewing stand with our local commander, Col. Lang. As they passed by I received an "eyes right" from the marching troops.
Was that my "fifteen minutes of fame" ? Probably. I can't really recall any other time quite like that. Did I deserve it at all? Absolutely not! My contribution was getting the men to the right range at the right time and reasonably sober. They already knew how to fire their weapons for they had to compete to be on the team. I received the glory that should have been showered on them.
That is the way life often is. The glory earned by us goes to another. The glory earned by others often comes to us. As Believers this is why we can sing from the depths of our hearts, "To God be the glory. great things He has done". That is really where all our glory for any and all things good should go.