By Richard Sisk
13 Apr 2018
"More than anything, he was proud of his brothers in World War II. He had five brothers, all came back home. I've often wondered how his mother could take that, with six boys in the war," she said.
Back in 1945, when she was 15 and first set eyes on her future husband, Pauline Conner didn't think much of the scrawny fellow they were making all the fuss about in town with the parade and the speeches.
The great Sgt. Alvin York himself, the Medal of Honor recipient from World War I, had shown up for what the folks in Albany, Kentucky, called the "speakin'" at the Clinton County courthouse to welcome home Garlin Murl Conner from fighting the Nazis.
In their life together, he was a farmer and also served with the Disabled American Veterans, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Legion and Kentucky Veterans Affairs. The war stayed with him in ways he could not explain.
"I always thought if anybody had PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], it was Murl. He'd wake up in the night, kind of fighting, because of the nightmares. Lots of times he'd just go outside and sit by himself," she said.
Last month, Pauline Conner, now 88, received a phone call from President Donald Trump about her husband, who died in 1998 at age 79. The upgrade of his Distinguished Service Cross had been approved after more than 20 years of bureaucratic and court fights.
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