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December 4th, 2009


Charles S. Saunders Sr. Is My Father’s Father
USMC | SMS-12. MAG-12.
(birthday listed made him two years older then he was, reason unknown)

We called him by the name given to him by others: “Slug.”

The origin of this nickname is believed to be a shortened version of the word “slugger.” He got that from playing football in Texas because of how hard he hit others. It is not known if these hits were from Slug hitting in legal football plays or just hitting people in general… very hard.

Slug went to Texas A&M for college and in December 1941 was a sophomore. It is grand Texas Aggie folklore/fact that after Pearl Harbor, almost all the Texas Aggies joined the Marine Corp. My grandfather Slug was one of them.

He served several years and went on to meet my grandmother at a USO function and they settled back in Texas.

– – –

I only lived in Texas for three years growing up and did not really see him very often. The last time I can remember seeing him alive was during the last year I lived my three in Texas. I was a freshman in high school and was just wrapping up the JrROTC final inspection of which I was a large part. It was the largest formal inspection/review I ever did and was a very big deal. At the time, I had no idea he even knew it was taking place. I was leaving the review field and walking back towards the campus. I saw a lone figure standing under a tree watching us all leave from a far in that small spot in the shade. As we got closer the figure waved and I realized it was him, Slug, my grandfather. It was a little shocking yet a welcome surprise. He hadn’t joined my mother in the bleachers or even gone with the other spectators, he had watched it all from that spot.

I left the group I was with and walked up to him, we only shared a few words. He shook my hand and as I walked back towards the others, I would turn and look back every few steps. He was still there, standing under that tree.

Date & location unknown.