By Lanora Joslin, very special writer to the Jack County New Edition
For many years, the flagpole at the former Faith Community Hospital rested adjacent to a monument dedicated to the Lost Battalion. The Lost Battalion was a group of Texas National Guard who were called to active duty by President Roosevelt prior to the beginning of WWII. They are the only unit called to active duty who left the US before WWII began and didn’t return until the war was completely over due to their capture by the Japanese. The government didn’t know where they were, thus they were lost for the better part of their 3 ½ years of captivity. Of this group, Jacksboro was the single community with the largest toll—63 young men between the ages of 17 and 28. They worked on the death railway in Burma and suffered unbelievable cruelties at the hands of their captors. Of the 63 taken prisoner, 58 returned to Jacksboro and led productive lives, most in public service.
With the building of the new Faith Community Hospital, the children and widows of those men are honored that Mr. Beaman and the board of the hospital have moved the monument to that location. There will be a re-dedication on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the hospital’s new location, 215 Chisholm Trail, Jacksboro, TX. The public is invited-there was hardly a family untouched by this atrocity of the war, and the “Second Generation” would love to see a good crowd to honor these men. Gail Bialas, daughter of Luther Prunty, will be the speaker and her husband, Mike Bialas, will be wearing his father-in-law’s uniform.
Lost Battalion widows and children are asked to RSVP to Terry Shields at 940-841-0494 so arrangements can be made to seat them together.