“If you are digging a foxhole and someone offers to help, you let them”, was said by my dad’s friend in WWII, a paratrooper named Art Falvey. My dad and Falvey had both broken curfew by coming back late from their leave which they used to go drink in a nearby French town. The next day their drill sergeant had them march out to this field 5 miles away from camp and told them to dig a hole 6 feet wide by 6 feet long and 6 feet deep and he would be back later to inspect their work. They started digging and this French farmer came by with his lovely daughters and told Falvey and my dad to stop digging.
His English was not very good, but his daughters spoke much better and they explained how this was their farm and that their father was so grateful for the Americans fighting the Germans that he felt the least he could do to show his gratitude was to did this hole for them. Falvey handed the Frenchman his shovel and sat on the nearby fence with the girls. My dad protested that this was their punishment and that the Frenchman should not be punished for their transgression. That was when Falvey said, “If you are digging a foxhole and someone offers to help, you let them”. The daughters brought some wine for my dad and Falvey to drink whole the Frenchman continued to dig the hole.
The Frenchman thought that the US was going to use the hole for land mines or some other military use and he had no clue that this was some type of punishment. My dad and Falvey had a great time sitting on the fence, drinking wine and making out with the French girls while their father did all the work. The drill sergeant came back several hours later and told them to fill the hole back in and get back to camp and report to the mess hall for KP duty.
Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday.