Forward Magazine - - Veterans Day Special -

Sam Meisel­man, who changed his name to Sam Morrison af­ter WWII, trained at Camp Hale in Colorado.

Who am I to tell this story? War is an odd ex­pe­ri­ence, and I’ve seen and felt the mis­ery of war and lost many of my good bud­dies dur­ing that short time.

I was born Sam Meisel­man, Septem­ber 3, 1923, in En­gle­wood, New Jersey, be­fore mov­ing as a child to Leo­nia. I was the third old­est in a fam­ily of six kids — two boys, four girls. My older brother was the aca­demic, the star with the en­gi­neer­ing schol­ar­ship to Cooper Union. Then there was me, the comic. My fam­ily opened a gen­eral store that went belly-up in the mid­dle of the De­pres­sion. My fa­ther lost ev­ery­thing, and moved us to New York to get mon­e­tary re­lief.

I’ll tell you how I got from the Bronx to the 10th. In 1939, the Rus­sians at­tacked Fin­land, and the Rus­sian ski troop­ers an­ni­hi­lated two tank di­vi­sions. There was a fel­low named Charles Minot Dole. Ev­ery­one called him Min­nie, and he was an in­sur­ance guy as well as pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Ski Pa­trol, a civilian force whom he wanted to re­cruit for the Unites States forces. His guys lived mainly in New Eng­land, young guys who vol­un­teered to res­cue those trapped on moun­tains for the glory and the girls. Even­tu­ally, in 1940, the Army agreed to let Min­nie have some­thing like a ski unit.

Min­nie Dole was no re­la­tion to Bob Dole, but Bob him­self was in the 10th, as many Amer­i­cans know, and we were in the same hospi­tal in Italy, but I’m get­ting ahead of my story.

Now how did this kid from the Bronx get in with th­ese

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