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Proud of Salvation Army Connection — By Tommy Purser

I wrote a few weeks back of my hopes to live to be 100. My Uncle Glenn made it to 96. He died Jan. 10, two weeks ago, in Mesa Springs Health Care Center in Texas.

I had last seen my last surviving uncle in 2008, when he and my Aunt Renee celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary at The Ball Ranch in Abilene, Texas. Aunt Renee died the next year.

I was especially proud of Uncle Glenn and Aunt Renee. They both were career Salvation Army Officers, commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in 1949 and doing the Lord’s work for 38 years, retiring in 1987.

I always had a sense of pride telling folks about the life work of my aunt and uncle and have long respected the work of the Salvation Army.

That respect began at an early age as I listened to stories at my mother’s feet as she related how bad the Great Depression had been on her family. With a mostly absent and inattentive father, Mother and Uncle Glenn were raised by my grandmother, who struggled mightily to keep her young children fed, clothed and housed.

“Without the Salvation Army, I don’t know how we would have made it,” I had heard my mother say many times.

At one time I had a photograph of a strikingly pretty teenager with long red hair, wearing a Salvation Army uniform and ringing a bell in front of the Army’s signature Red Kettle collecting Christmas donations for the less fortunate. That teenager, sporting a winsome smile, was my mother. I miss her and Uncle Glenn and Aunt Renee. Hope to see them later.

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