K¹² International Academy Student Pays Tribute to World War II Veteran & Grandfather

He was Your Mother’s Father

By Mike Weinstein

“He was your mother’s father”
That’s all that I was told
Of the young man pictured by the tank
In Europe’s snow and cold.

He dreamed of building bridges
That spanned the waters wide
Yet when his country called him,
He put his dreams aside.

The men called him Captain,
As he led the tank brigade
Into the Nazi’s war of hell
In Belgium’s frozen glade.

His life-long friend
killed by his side
He could not pause to grieve
The tank guns roared endlessly
Until at last they ceased.

The Allies won the battle long.
He then could mourn his friend.
The soldiers and their armored beasts
Turned east toward Hitler’s den.

In early spring of forty-five,
Troops halted their fast pace
And viewed the bloody handiwork
Of the Aryan master race.

The bodies were not soldiers
Innocent, one and all
Yet they lay upon the ground
Behind barbed wire so tall.

The war was finally over
Some soldiers did come back
The Captain built bridges long and wide
That spanned the waters black.

The Captain married his only love.
A family he did raise.
He never spoke of war again
Nor of his soldier days.

After forty years had passed,
Cancer struck and slayed
The Captain who served his country well
And was so strong and brave.

“He was your mother’s father”
That young man in the snow,
Who lived and died with courage,
A man I would never know.

Mike made the following video slide show as a Christmas present for his grandmother in 2010. She and his grandfather had been married for 44 years before he died in 1991, and she had been a widow for almost 20 years by then. Grandma had given Mike his grandfather’s Army trunk the previous year. It had not been opened by anyone since 1946. When he opened the trunk in 2009, he discovered a trove of World War II treasures – hundreds of pictures, a detailed diary, a complete dress uniform, a combat helmet, medals, and many other items from a time never imagined by people my age. Slowly, Mike pieced together the numerous battles fought by the 4th Armored Division and their inadvertent discovery of a concentration camp in Germany. The last part of the video shows Mike’s grandfather as an old man, more than 40 years after the war ended, as he raised the American flag at his house, and then on the 40th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge tour in Bastogne, Belgium.

Mike Weinstein is a graduating Senior at K¹² International Academy and one of teachers shared this about Mike:

I was both humbled and honored by the opportunity to be involved with such a moving project. Mike is one of the brightest and most insightful students that I have had during my teaching career. He has a very bright future ahead and I know that he will do wonderful things at Texas A&M and beyond.  ~Anthony Neely

For more information on this story visit Mike’s website HERE