Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Features

July 24, 2006

Athens man finally meets World War II-era pen-pal 64 years after first correspondence

(Continued)



Albert Dols, the Warrens’ neighbor, helped with translation during the meeting, which lasted a little over an hour.

“Mien’s son spoke English very well,” Tommie said.

“Her daughter-in-law spoke no English and Mien speaks broken English. We could converse with her, and she is able to read English. She was able to understand us.”

Travis said he and Mien talked about “just about everything under the sun. We talked about the families, and she asked about Noel and his family.”

“All her brothers and sisters, her parents, they’re all dead,” he said. “It’s just a miracle that she’s still alive.”

The visit led to Travis writing her again. “He wrote her another letter,” Tommie said. “And my niece and nephew have also made contact.”

The Masons visit to the Netherlands didn’t end with meeting Mien and her son. They also soaked up some history. Along with Winnette and her two sons, and Tommie’s great-nephew, the Masons visited the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margaraten, Hoensbroek Castle in Hoensbroek, The Market in Geleen, the Keukenhof Gardens outside of Amsterdam, the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, the windmills in Kinderdyke and the Velvet Caves at Valkenburg. They said they hope to visit the Netherlands again next year.

Besides the visit with Mien, the cemetery visit meant the most to Travis.

“Holland was the only country that deeded the U.S. 65 acres for a cemetery,” he said. “Nobody is buried there but Americans. And they take care of it. If you’ve ever been in the service, it really touches you to know that.”

The cemetery has 8,301 graves, and a wall with 1,722 missing names and ranks on it. “It’s unreal what it looks like,” Tommie said.

“Each grave there was adopted by a Dutch family, and has been handed down through generations. They have a waiting list of people who want to adopt a grave that a family doesn’t want anymore. The cemetery itself went on forever. It was a beautiful area.”

Text Only
Features
  • The Rev. Cash in the Athens Church of the Nazarene sactuary From the ashes, a blessing

    The Rev. John Micheal Cash has an interesting story to tell about the fire that gutted a majority of Athens Church of the Nazarene late last year.

    May 23, 2013 2 Photos

  • Leland and Betty Parker Can ministry raises funds for Bibles to go around the world

    In spite of some visual difficulties, 85-year old Athens resident Leland Parker used to make it around town on his three-wheeled bicycle to collect and then sell aluminum cans for a very worthy cause — study Bibles (sometimes called Full-Life Study Bibles which in China were dubbed Fire Bibles).

    May 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • The Toymakers speak out

    Paula and Jim Fullingum are toymakers. They have taken what started out to be a family hobby, and turned it into a business to help them survive the tough economic times everyone is having to deal with in one way or another.

    April 30, 2012

  • labor-day BBQ 02.jpg Labor Day BBQ bash can be healthy, tasty

    Labor Day weekend is a great time to spend outdoors with friends and family, firing up the barbecue and enjoying the weather. Instead of chowing down on fatty foods, consider making healthier choices over the holiday with these fresh ideas.

    September 2, 2011 1 Photo

  • Computer Smart surfing online: How to maintain your privacy

    With the News Corp hacking scandal sweeping international headlines, the importance of digital privacy is in the spotlight. Protecting yourself from hacking and identity theft doesn’t have to be a chore.

    August 9, 2011 1 Photo

  • Hurricane Katrina 10 deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history

    Forecasters have updated the hurricane outlook for 2011, anticipating more hurricanes this year than they originally forecast at the beginning of the season in June. Take a look back at some of the most dangerous storms in history.

    August 8, 2011 1 Photo

  • Grocery store shopping Eat healthy on a budget: 7 ways to be a grocery guru

    Buying fresh foods and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle can put a damper on your wallet. So how do you eat right without blowing your whole paycheck? 

    August 4, 2011 1 Photo

  • thermostat.jpg Lower your cooling costs in summer heat

    The summer heat wave burning up most of the country is sending power bills soaring. Use these easy tips to cool down your energy costs and your home.

    August 1, 2011 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Traveling dog Tips for traveling with your pet

    Navigating planes, trains and automobiles with your furry family members may complicate your travel plans this summer. If you don’t want to leave Fluffy and Fido at home with the pet sitter, be prepared with these tips for travel.

    July 22, 2011 3 Photos

  • Will Conley in Afghanistan.jpg ‘I have the honor of helping people’

    Will Conley is a man marked for leadership. His friends in Henderson County know him as the lead technologist in ETMC Athens’ nuclear medicine department.
    His fellow soldiers know him as Lt. Col. Will Conley, commander of the National Guard’s 527th Engineer Battalion.

    November 10, 2010 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record