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My Dad, Galen Hunt was a farm boy who was born in Chequest, and raised in a church centered life in his home town in rural Iowa. But it was on the battlefield in France, in the midst of the horrors of war, that Dad came face to face with God in a deeper way than he had ever known. Marne, where Dad's batallion was assigned took some of the heaviest fighting of the entire war. Over 2 million troops fought in the battle and 100,000 were killed or wounded.

After one battle, Dad had just taken his gas mask off, when mustard gas came drifting over the hill. As his legs were literally blown out from under him, he saw a vision of "The Christ of the Battlefield." He awoke on a supply wagon, where he lay all night watching the glare of artillery fire, till he could be carried out by ambulance in the morning. The ambulance raced toward safety with their wounded man, amid the bombs dropping was one bumpy ride, as Dad saw an ambulance behind them on the road blown to bits. But he made it to the safety of the hospital, where an orderly cut off his boots, and gave him the first food he'd had in a long time, a cup of cocoa.


Watching t.v. in the 1950's, The Micky Mouse Club stars, were the favorites of our generation. But they weren't our only heroes. Some of us found and modeled our lives after a local hero, who was always there in our neighborhood. He was the American Doughboy in front of the National Guard building. Because of God's providence, I was introduced to Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ, and grew up with faith in God.

Although we had a certain fondness for Davy Crocket in the early years, he wasn't my greatest or favorite hero. I would walk out in the forest behind my home and talked to my Heavenly Father for hours as I picked wild berries, listened to the songs of birds and watched squirrels scamper up the trees, and chatter to me from their branches.

While the kids of our neighborhood were born and given teddy bears for security, and grew into donning Micky Mouse ears, and lifting our banners high in homage to Micky, there was somebody watching over us even when it didn't seem like it!

While we glued ourselves to the tube for hours, wearing coon skin hats, so we could watch Fes Parker, who played Davy Crockett wrestle river pirates or grin a bear to death, my sister and I also loved attending church, where we saw men and women of God fight spiritual battles. But we had another role model, who reminded us of our Dad. It was the American Doughboy, whose 14-foot, 3,500 pound bronze sculpture was the work of Seattle sculptor, Alonzo Victor Lewis, reminded me of him.

The Doughboy statue originally stood at the base of Queen Anne Hill, in front of the Civic Auditorium facing 3rd Avenue North, at today's (2001) Seattle Center. When the auditorium was renovated in 1962, to become the Seattle Opera House of the Seattle World's Fair, the statue was moved to a location behind the Opera House back wall, in front of the old Veterans Hall.

During my school days, attending Warren Avenue Grade School and living on lower Queen Anne Hill on Warren Avenue, I'd pass the Doughboy walking home each day from school. My sister and I would stop, throw our bookbag on the ground and climb up on his shoulders and look out at the world. From there we felt strong and mighty, and knew that we could do anything at all!


Dad was 49 years old when I was born. My parents separated when I was still quite young, and I lived for a time with family friends. My wise Christian foster mother knew God, and was a woman of deep faith. She also knew a thing or two about orphans. She and her Christian husband took us to church and taught us from the scriptures: "If you've seen Me, You've seen the Heavenly Father." Later Mom raised us as a single parent. My sister and I would take our school books home and drop them off, and return to the statue of the American hero, that looked like somebody's Dad, climb on his shoulders and hug his neck, and we weren't the only ones. The neighborhood kids fondness for the Doughboy was a secret possibly known only to the National Guard staff on the same grounds.

We wanted to be like other kids, and have a Dad, but our parents were separated, and our single mother raised us alone. Our attorney father, Galen Hunt was 20 years older than my mother, having been born May 31, 1897, in Chequest, Iowa, the son of William Hunt, a farmer; and Maggie Burger Hunt, who died wwhen he was still a toddler. His mother's family were German Dunkard Brethren. As I was growing up, my father and lived and practiced law out of state, in Illinois and Alaska, so we seldom saw him.


Dad was a vetern of WW1, having fought and been wounded at the Battle of Marne, in France, which took some of the heaviest fighting of the war. The United States of America declared war on Germany, April 6th, 1917. Marne River is the major artery of the Department of Champagne-Ardennes. It has its source in northeastern France in the Haute-Marne southeast of the city of Langres. Sweeping north and then west to the Montagne de Reims and the heart of Champagne, it spills into the Seine 325 miles later just southeast of Paris. My father's war diaries, speak of the intense fighting at Marne, Aisne and Chateau Thierry. His war medals encompass St. Michel Sector, Aisne, as well. But most of all they testify of His courage and deep faith in God.


CHATEAU-THIERRY, is the name of a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Aisne, 59 m. E.N.E. of Paris on the Eastern railway to Nancy. Pop. (1906) 6872. Chteau-Thierry is built on rising ground on the right bank of the Marne, over which a fine stone bridge leads to the suburb of Marne. On the quay stands a marble statue erected to the memory of La Fontaine, who was born in the town in 1621; his house is still preserved in the street that bears his name. On the top of a hill are the ruins of a castle, which is said to have been built by Charles Martel for the Frankish king, Thierry IV.

After being wounded, Dad lay all night on a supply wagon, till he could be taken out in the morning. He told of having seen a vision that many wounded and dying men saw, of the Christ of the Battlefield.

The Encyclopedia Britanica states this of the Battle of Marne:

The First Battle of the Marne was a World War I battle fought September 5 - 9, 1914. It was a French-British victory against the German army under General von Moltke.

The battle was a turning point in the war. Up to this point, the Germans had successfully penetrated far into France with a sweeping advance from the north. But on September 5 Northeast of Paris, the French 6th Army under General Michel-Joseph Maunoury attacked German forces who were advancing on the capital. At this battle, the French and British successfully halted the German advance, saving Paris in the process. The German retreat that followed between September 9 and September 13 signified the abandonment of the Schlieffen plan. In the aftermath of the battle, both sides dug in, and four years of stalemate ensued.

Around 600 Paris taxicabs, mainly Renault AX, were commandeered by the French authority, and used to transport French 6,000 reserve infantry troops.

After my father died, I knew that so many aspects of his life were buried with him. And yet I wanted to know more about this man who had given me life. I wrote to his friends and family, and my husband, daughter and I took a trip to France, where Dad fought as a teenager in the war. One of the marvellous discoveries were some war diaries Dad bequeathed to me, and in reading them, I was strengthened of the Lord to be a woman of even deeper faith, courage and conviction.


Returning home from the war, Dad's lungs were badly seared by the mustard gas used as chemical warfare. His doctors told him to drink water as a treatment for his badly seared lungs, and friends called him the "human tank!" He put himself through business school, hobbling to and from his classes on crutches. He went on to the university and became an attorney.

On November 11, 1998, on the 80th anniversary of the end of World War I, the sculpture Doughboy, created by Alonzo Victor Lewis (1886-1946), is re-dedicated at Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli, honoring the American infantrymen of the Great War. The north Seattle cemetery straddles Aurora Avenue N beginning just beyond N 109th Street.

My father, Galen Hunt is buried in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the Military Burial of the Pacific.

Tom purchased a vase for me-a piece of trench art from WWI made from one of those brass shells launched from the German lines, that my Dad told all about in his war diary. This was no bullet like we'd see whizzing back and forth on tv. The thing is a foot long. Now when I put some flowers in it, I am always reminded of the courage of those who fight to keep our country safe.

France, my Dad's blood soaked into the ground on which you stand. He believed the bible that quotes Yeshua/Jesus words: Because I live, you shall live also! He lived through one of the worst battles of that war, and came home safely. You remember that Yeshua/Jesus loves you! (Read Acts 2:38)

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