So you never became a soccer star. But you could still show out during the FIFA World Cup 2022 with cool soccer swag from Frito-Lay, the official USA snack of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Look for the Golden World Soccer Ball? Then pass the ball to fellow fans for a chance to score custom swag.
Scan the QR code on specially marked bags of Leis, Cheetos, or Doritos, or visit FritoLayScore.com to join the Pass the Ball Challenge. Our iHeartRadio Jingle Ball coming live from New York to the CW app and CWtv.com on December 9th. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound, so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, sound shape to you.
To learn more, visit Bose.com. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. To search for the Our American Stories podcast, go to the iHeartRadio app, to Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We recently had the pleasure of bringing World War II veteran John DeFore, 103 years old, into our studio with his entire family and listen to his incredible life story. This next story is all him sharing a bit about his early life and the unlikely events that led him to serving in the Army.
Here's John. Sidon, Mississippi, when I grew up had 250 people and it's cotton country. I started to Greenwood High School and I was taking Latin and I asked a question and the teacher, and this may have been my imagination because I didn't have a very strong self-image, but the teacher kind of made fun of my question and so I just walked out of the class. I think I was a little arrogant, maybe more than a little, but anyway I walked out and I walked out of the building and turned and go down the side of the building and when I was walking down by the classroom I noticed a brick and the flower red so I just picked it up and threw it through the window and then the school decided that I wasn't a very good fit. So I didn't even know what expelled meant, but I learned. So I had to go home and tell my school teacher mother that they no longer wanted me in Greenwood High School and so she said, well thank God there was no communication between schools. You can go to Itta Bena High School.
Itta Bena was about 15 miles in another direction. They ran a school bus there too. Well my second day I got in a fight with the school bus driver and they were very narrow-minded and they decided that maybe I did not need to be a student there either.
My mother, she was a good woman, but my mother had problems and I left home and I walked up the railroad and slept under a bridge. I got a job on a construction crew and I got a room and a boarding home and I worked there all summer and September came and the foreman said, well John I guess you'll be leaving now because school started and I said, no I'm not going back to school anymore. I've quit and he looked at me and said, why? I said, I don't like school and he said, you're a damn fool and he said, you're fired. Get off of this job and so I had heard about Moorhead. There was a agricultural high school and junior college there so I hitchhiked to Moorhead and I went in and I found the president's office and I told him I didn't have any money but I wanted to go to school there. It was a boarding school also and so he said, well will you work?
And I said, of course and he said, okay. So I had a roommate named Robert and Robert and I got to be good friends. Every weekend we would slip off campus and get drunk and Robert and I decided we didn't need any more education so we went to work on the construction job. We would work all week and go to the bars or wherever and September the second or third we went to a little bar and got drunk and I came home about two o'clock and the next morning the lady in the boarding house came in and woke me up and said, Robert killed himself last night and I could not believe it because he and I had played football and run track together for years and he never mentioned suicide and I was a pallbearer and they put the casket in a pine box and everybody left and there were two men throwing dirt in on top of this pine box and I stood there and I watched those clods bouncing off the top of that pine box and you're not going to believe this but I don't expect you to but I heard a voice and have never forgotten.
John Defore, you keep living the way you're living and a few months some clods just like this will be bouncing off your casket and the world will never know or care that you have lived and I was no mistaken. Now it was God or somebody looking after me. I went to my boarding house and I got some clothes and I went straight out on the highway and hitchhiked to Jackson, Mississippi.
I had heard that Mississippi College was a Christian college and that everybody there was a Christian. It was a perfect place in my mind. I was scared to death that I was going to kill myself just like Robert and after I heard that voice I knew it was time for me to change. And you're listening to John Defore tell his story and my goodness what a story it is growing up in a town with 250 people getting thrown out of school not once but twice and so he decides to hitchhike to a Christian college, Mississippi College when we come back more of the story of World War II veteran John Defore here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country stories from our big cities and small towns but we truly can't do the show without you.
Our stories are free to listen to but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear go to our americanstories.com and click the donate button. Give a little. Give a lot.
Go to our americanstories.com and give. From New York to the CW app and cwtv.com on December 9th. When the world gets in the way of your music try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2. Next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 sound shape to you.
To learn more visit Bose.com. Hey you guys this is Tori and Jenny with the 902.1 OMG podcast. We have such a special episode brought to you by NerdTech ODT. We recorded it at iHeartRadio's 10th poll event Wango Tango. Did you know that NerdTech ODT Remejapant 75 mg can help migraine sufferers still attend such an exciting event like Wango Tango?
It's true! I had one that night and I took my NerdTech ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends.
This episode was brought to you by NerdTech ODT Remejapant 75 mg. Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family, but thankfully NerdTech ODT Remejapant 75 mg is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. And we return to our American stories and to John Defour who's sharing his life story and ultimately how he ended up in the army during World War II. When we last left off he just decided to go to Mississippi College, a Christian college in Clinton, Mississippi, not far down the road from where we broadcast in Oxford, Mississippi, which is in the northern part of the state about an hour south of Memphis.
Let's pick up with John where we last left off. I wasn't a Christian of course when I went there, but I studied like crazy. And after about two years the professor offered me a scholarship for the next semester.
And I had a lady in one of my classes and she was an excellent student and she kept talking to me about becoming a Christian. And I got really irritated and when the semester ended I gave her a D on the course and she was a straight A student. And the professor who had sort of become a friend said, why did you do that? And I said, because I don't like her. And he said, well you can't give her a bad grade because, and so I changed it of course. But anyway, she was very kind. She didn't tell the professor that I'd given her a D. He found it himself. She didn't report me. And she talked to me about God. The God that I had learned about was my mother's God and that would be the antithesis of everything that I would describe to any form of divinity. And so after she kept talking to me about Jesus Christ, I got a whole new message from this woman.
And so I became a Christian. I was talking one day to this guy on campus and he said, John don't you play a musical instrument? And I said, yeah I play three or four.
And he said, well the band here pays a dollar a rehearsal. Why don't you join? And I thought, boy four dollars a month.
And so I didn't ask any questions. I just signed up. But what I didn't know, what I didn't know was it was a National Guard band. And that's why I was paid. And so I did find in the band and about six months after I joined, I came one day and the band director said, gentlemen, I have an announcement. We are being inducted into the federal service. And I didn't know what inducted meant.
I found out. But after the band rehearsal, I went up and I said, Mr. Mackey, I'm very sorry but I can't go. He said, we're going to Campbell Landing, Florida for a year's training and then you'll come back here. I said, I'm very sorry but I can't go.
I have other plans. And he said, young man, you're in the Army. I said, well I'm not going. He said, if you do not show up, do you know what we call that in the Army? And I said, no. He said, we called it desertion. He said, you know what we do with deserters? I said, no.
He said, we shoot them. And I thought, well that doesn't sound very good. So I went for one year's training. Seven years later, I finished that one year's training because pretty soon Pearl Harbor came and after that, man, that was all she wrote, you know. And I had had some previous military training. I went in as a private first place and I saw a notice that they were allowing people with previous military training to take an examination to see if they could qualify for a commission as an officer.
And so I took the examination with 250 people and I came out at the top of the class. And I was one day working in the latrine with my friend watching church one day and someone said, you got a message in the orderly tent. And so I went to the orderly tent and they said, you wanted a division headquarters. Well, division headquarters, that's like Washington, D.C.
I mean like it used to be. And so I went to division headquarters and I met one of the finest human beings I ever met in my life. His name was General Major General John C. Persons. And he said, Private DeFore, you are now a second lieutenant. And he saluted me.
He pinned my bars on. And man, one minute I'm private first class and one minute with those bars I'm a second lieutenant. And so I was assigned to another unit and I was in the rifle company. And that was the beginning really of my military career. When I became a Christian at Mississippi College and then I realized I was in the Army, I knew I could never kill a human being. I just knew I could not kill a human being.
And I'm teaching these guys about trench warfare and particularly about being at practice. But even while I was doing all that, I knew I couldn't kill a man if I had to. And I thought about it.
But then I go to New Guinea and I'm still processing in mine. And one day I was on patrol and there were these long, tall grasses that grew in the jungle called Kenai grass. And wherever there was a water hole, the grass grew around it. And so one day we were on a patrol and we ran into a wadi and I stopped and lay down on the edge and we hadn't had no water all day so I was drinking out of this pond.
It wasn't very clean but I took some in my hand and I was drinking. And I lay there just a minute and all of a sudden I hear a noise and a chap comes breaking through the grass and he lies down there and starts drinking water. And all of a sudden I saw him see me. He turned his head and he saw me and then he whirled his rifle around and pointed it at me. And I had a time of gun and I shot him six times. And I got back to my safe area that night. We were all sleeping in holes and I started getting in my hole and I thought, well John, you're a murderer. Today you killed a human being.
But that's just kind of the way it is. When we were in these tents right where we'd come off the ship, my neighboring unit got a call that the first battalion was going on a combat mission up the coast. They located Japanese airstrips and they were kind of plotting our course and dropping bombs and artillery.
So this time we hadn't seen any combat. Well man, I didn't know how I was going to function when I was being shot at. So I just signed up to go as an observer with this outfit. And you've been listening to John DeFore share his story. And what a story indeed. He gets back to Mississippi College, joins the band. Turns out it was a National Guard band. He finds out he has to go and train. He goes for a one-year stint, ends up staying seven and finds himself in the Pacific Islands face to face with his own death.
When we come back, more of this remarkable life story, World War II veteran John DeFore story continues here on Our American Stories. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort earbuds too. Next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort earbuds too. Sound shape to you.
To learn more, visit Bose.com. Exciting event like Wango Tango. It's true. I had one that night and I took my NURTEC ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by NURTEC ODT Remedipant 75 milligrams.
Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family, but thankfully NURTEC ODT Remedipant 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. And we're back with our American stories and with John DeFore. When we last left off he just signed up to be an observer on a combat mission fighting the Japanese. Let's pick back up where we just left off. There was another officer who was going as an observer and a chaplain and a medic all going as observers and we kind of we went up kind of along the beach half in the beach and half in the jungle and it wasn't really a bad trip up but what we didn't know was see we're brand new we didn't know these Jap troops had been there for three years and they are seasoned battle troops and we are rank rookies and when they found out we were coming up the beach they just vacated the airstrip and moved back out on the back side opposite from the way we were approaching and built up a whole fire line and we came to this airstrip and it looked like it was deserted and stupid Yankees we go in and everybody's just having a good time walking around playing looking at things and then all of a sudden all hell broke loose they had snipers in the trees they had men dug in in the middle of the area with tops made to their foxholes and they were popping out of these foxholes and all of a sudden every way you looked somebody was shooting and there was a heavy machine gun that was about 50 yards in front of me and I hit the ground and I was absolutely panicked stricken and my blood turned to ice water and I could not move I was lying on the ground with my arms outstretched but I couldn't move and I thought I've got to do something I've got to move I've got to move and and I was terrified I couldn't think I couldn't move but I could feel I could feel the bullets when that guy would make a sweep I could feel the bullets cutting the grass and the grass was falling down my neck and all of a sudden someone said hey long john I said and I turned and looked and here's the catholic chaplain over there he said you want a vanilla wafer I promise you and he's digging in his fatigue jacket and he pulled out a box of vanilla wafers and slides more through the grass and said my mother sent them to me best vanilla wafers you'll ever eat help yourself and I thought well I'll be down and I took a couple vanilla wafers and my ice water all turned to blood and my panic and fear vanished and I handed him the box back and then I kind of took charge and got a few men together and we got together a little fire fight and got out of that trap but the vanilla wafer saved my life and this is a great guy he was killed a couple of weeks later trying to rescue a man who was stranded out and wounded the chaps had a habit they would get a man wounded and they put machine guns covering to take care of the people who came to pick him up you know and they'd been given orders nobody could rescue him and chaplain O'Connor went out I wasn't I wasn't there he was with another outfit and uh but I talked to some of the medics who picked up the body and they said he had a box from the wafers in his pocket when they found him and if you ever come to my office look in the bottom right hand draw my desk I got a box right there right now I've kept them since the war uh I don't like to tell this but the chaps were smarter soldiers they had one contingent that we hit one time call them imperial marines they were all over six feet tall and had all been trained in jungle fighting they all carried samurai swords and they were great swordsmen but one day just by accident I ran into a bunch of chaps and we killed all of them but one and this was prior to the operation to the landing on Luzon where MacArthur went back to and we needed all the prisons we could get to try to get information about the placement of troops on Luzon and we were marching him back to our area and the PT boat was supposed to come along the beach and pick up these prisoners of war but it got dark and the PT boat couldn't come and so we had to keep them overnight and uh my man this was late in the war and nobody wanted to keep him because they were not safe to be around prisoners or not I had heard this thank God that this Japanese officer had been captured and he was being brought back to the land and he spoke perfect English and he begged the capturing officer not to kill him he said I have a wife and I have children and this war will soon be over for me and for you and you'll go home and do anything with me but please please don't kill me I don't want to die and this officer gave in and then he let his guard down and this man who had begged for his life took this guy's pistol and killed him well this tall guy that I had was talking to me the same way he said do anything but just don't kill me he said I'm not mad at you Americans you're not mad at me and he said you don't know me and I don't know you and just whatever you do don't kill me well I listened to this I guess maybe it took us an hour to get back to our area and he was very convincing and then I remember this incident that had happened where this man had done the same thing so this man had done the same thing so I turned around and and I had to look him in the eyes and I killed him I wonder sometimes about that guy you know what a story you're hearing from John before it's true that war is hell and he's describing that hell in vivid detail he was a part of it you recall that one story when us troops were on an airfield he was a part of seizing only to find out that the Japanese had lured them into a trap snipers up high marksmen dug in trenches during that firefight there was that chapel and offering him a vanilla wafer and in the midst of combat it eased lieutenant before his ears and to this day john told us those vanilla wafers are still in his office they're still close by when we come back more of john dafour's story a world war ii veteran a fellow mississippian here on our american stories power 2022 i heart radio jingle ball presented by capital one y'all ready to have some fun starring zua lipa charlie pooth the backstreet boys the kid leroy ajr and more the biggest holiday party of the year our i heart radio jingle ball coming live from new york to the cw app and cwtv.com on december 9th when the world gets in the way of your music try the new bows quiet comfort earbuds 2 next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears they use exclusive bows technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love bows quiet comfort earbuds 2 sound shape to you to learn more visit bows.com hey you guys this is tori and jenny with the 9 0 2 1 omg podcast we have such a special episode brought to you by nerd tech odt we recorded it at i heart radio's 10th pole event wango tango did you know that nerd tech odt remejipant 75 milligrams can help migraine sufferers still attend such an exciting event like wango tango it's true i had one that night and i took my nerd tech odt and i was present and had an amazing time here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends this episode was brought to you by nerd tech odt remejipant 75 milligrams life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family but thankfully nerd tech odt remejipant 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults so lively events like wango tango don't have to be missed and we return to our american stories and to the final portion of john de ford's story he told us a few tales about his time in the war and how he'd struggled with having to kill in this final segment he'll be talking about life after the war his family and his wife marian su who was joining us during this interview well you'll hear from them briefly in the end of this segment let's return to john with the rest of his story this girl i had asked her to marry me three years earlier before i went overseas she'd written me a letter every day it didn't always get them but i went to sidon mississippi and i was ready to get married the minute i hit sidon of course she kept talking about receptions and flowers and things like that but i just wanted to go to the justice of peace that didn't work so we got married and we drove from side i wanted to spend the night in the peabody hotel because that was where my mother and father spent their wedding night and uh this is a little bit embarrassing but we went to bed and in the middle of the night i had a nightmare you know they call it ptsd ptsd is when you replay a bad scene in your mind and it controls your perception of reality and all of a sudden in the middle of the night i was screaming and cussing and fighting japs like crazy man they were just flooded over the walls and everything and and my wife is wide-eyed back leaning against the headboard saying what's the matter with you are you crazy if you lost your mind what in the world and i thought she was going to leave because she was absolutely terrified well i was trying to explain what was the matter at two o'clock in the morning on my red wedding night and and now it was very difficult there for a while we almost got a divorce before daylight but there was no jp there but uh she finally got accustomed to and and she could talk me down usually there's an existential philosopher i think it's han so yeah who made the statement there's no difference between the homicide and suicide and uh i want to tell you that's true because you can't kill another human being you can't cut a man's throat without injuring yourself i promised myself when i was discharged from that hospital that i would never put on a uniform carry a gun or talk about the war ever man sue and i were working in manila we worked for holiday ends and we worked mostly in the eastern area with china japan and places like that and uh when we came we had weekend off and we were in manila and i said i want to see carrigador and so we got on the boat and we were going to carrigador and i'm sitting in the benches across the seats the boat was just packed and i'm sitting there and i see this young man sitting next to me he looked like he was younger and i said where are you going to see carrigador and uh he said you really want to know i could tell he was american he said you really want to know and i said yeah he said well my father was over here during the war and said he didn't want to know was over here during the war and said he never talked about the war he never said a word about the war and up to this time i had never talked to my anybody about the war ever and he looked at me and he said he said do you have sons i said yeah i have four sons he said have you talked about the war to your boys and uh i said no never he said this is a total stranger he said promise me as soon as you get home you'll talk to your boys about the war my daddy never talked about and i've always wondered about this big blank spot in his life and he said i'm over here trying to put together the little pieces that i found out about my dad in the war and i want you to promise me you'll talk to your sons and i said i promise i didn't mean it but we went on to carrigador and looked around well late that afternoon when we were coming back i was out back watching the waves and he came and found me and i didn't even know his name he said you made me a promise i said i'll be damned and he said you didn't mean it i said no i didn't he said i want a promise he came the third time i want a promise and when i got home i started talking about the war i found that all four of my sons had had nightmares about the war what i had buried on my insides came out in their unconscious thinking my sons are the four most beautiful men i've ever known and they were they were very kind and i could not have asked them to have reacted with more compassion and understanding and i i wish that i had started talking years earlier but you know i'll laugh and say funny that i know i'm half crazy because of what i've been through i couldn't be totally completely sane but so far i've been able to pass all the all the tests william to come to german was a union general during the war led the troops all the way across georgia north carolina to the ocean one day talking to him he gave us an often quoted phrase war is hell every day you get up and you go hunting and you just look for somebody to kill all day long and and you kill them and you don't even bury them you just walk off after you search them and that that's crazy it is insanity and i wish that the people who talk about war had to either send their children or go themselves i hope if the man in washington decides to protect us if china attacks fomosa or wherever we fight i hope he'll send his son first i've looked in the mirror and said my god are you that man and i had to say yes but i wasn't proud of john what everybody in this room has their freedom today because of what are you yeah and we are proud to say it well i'd rather had been you thank you and a special thanks to madison derricott for producing that piece and you heard john's family because john was breaking down regretting what he'd done in the war regretting having killed so many people and they had to come in and just help him and save him from his own feelings of grief decades and decades later and what a story he told there's no difference between a homicide and a suicide john said you can't kill another human being without injuring yourself the story of john dafour the story of war the story of its aftermath and the story of so much more here on our american stories power 2022 i heart radio jingle ball presented by capital one y'all ready y'all ready to have some fun starring zua lipa charlie puth the backstreet boys the kid leroy ajr and more the biggest holiday party of the year our i heart radio jingle ball coming live from new york to the cw app and cwtv.com on december 9th when the world gets in the way of your music try the new bows quiet comfort earbuds 2 next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears they use exclusive bows technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love bows quiet comfort earbuds 2 sound shape to you to learn more visit bows.com so you never became a soccer star but you could still show out during the fifa world cup 2022 with cool soccer swag from frito-lay the official usa snack of the fifa world cup 2022 look for the golden world soccer ball then pass the ball to fellow fans for a chance to score custom swag scan the qr code on specially marked bags of lays cheetos or doritos or visit frito-lay score.com to join the pass the ball challenge no purchase necessary open the legal residence of the usdc 18 plus c rules at frito-lay score.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-18 04:27:57 / 2022-11-18 04:41:49 / 14