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kickstand
01-20-2016, 12:23 AM
When Tex asked about Great Men, I got to thinking about an old family friend who passed from this earthly world over a decade ago, and wanted to tell a bit about the man I knew.

Hob and Mary Lucero were close friends of my parents, and were the closest thing to Grandparents that I ever knew. Hob was one of the nicest, kindest, gentlest men that you would ever want to meet. Mary was the grandmother that everyone wishes they had . This tribute is mainly about Hob, but there was no Hob without Mary. When I was about 6 or so, they bought a place in the mountains and moved to Lincoln, NM, in the Lincoln National Forrest, about 3 hours away. Every year, come November , we would pack up the car or truck, and head to Hob & Mary's place to go deer hunting. Whether we got a deer or not was irrelevant , we were going to Hob's . I went to Disneyland as a kid...going to Hob's was better. It's not something that I can put into words very well , but when we were at Hob's place, we knew that that was right where we were supposed to be.

Growing up , we knew that Hob had served in the Army in WWII, but he never spoke of it. It wasn't that it was a taboo subject, it was just like most who have seen "The Beast", he had no desire to relive it, and it was just something that was in his past. The only indication was the small display box that hung on their wall with an American flag, a couple of Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, Paratrooper wings and various other ribbons and medals. As my brothers and I grew into our late teens, my father finally told us a bit about the man. He told us that although we knew the kind, gentle Hob, the Germans saw a completely different man.

Have you ever heard the old military saying "You can't get your butt shot off charging "? Well, leave it to Hob to prove it wrong . One fine winter day, Hob's company was charging up a hill in order to silence the German machine gun at the top. The Germans saw them coming and opened fire. As Hob dove for cover into a snowbank, a bullet narrowly missed his head and clipped off the tip of his tailbone.

Another story that was retold was that somewhere around the late 1970s to early 1980s, an Army Parachute Unit was doing some field training at an old decommissioned Army base (Fort Stanton) in the mountains near Lincoln. I don't remember the exact details of why he was there, but Hob was there and got to talking with the C.O. of the Unit. After visiting for a bit, the C.O. asked "What did you say your name was?"
"Hob Lucero"
The C.O. called his men together in formation, and told them "Men, I'd like to introduce you to Hob Lucero. When we get back to Fort (I don't remember which), I want you to go to the Base Headquarters , where Hob's service record still hangs on the wall". I don't know if it still does , but that's pretty impressive .

Hob Lucero
Company E 517th Parachute Infantry Combat Unit
Saw action in the Sicilian, Italian, French and German Campaigns. Fought in Angio and Battle of the Bulge.
Received 2 Purple Hearts, 6 Battle Stars, Bronze Service Medal for the capture 100 Germans with an empty rifle, 2 Presidential Citations, 2 Sharp Shooter Medals, Good Conduct Medal, Belgium Croix de guerre medal.


Now THAT was a great man. We, as a nation, are poorer without him and Mary.7072

Joyce Hoffman-Gayley
01-20-2016, 02:11 PM
That was a wonderful tribute. It's easy to hear the love & respect. You were lucky to have had him in your life.