Tag Archives: Army

Steve Finds His Tie

Walson Army Hospital, Fort Dix, NJ, n.d., ebookhatchdotcomIn 1962, I was a lab technician with the 87th Medical Group at the Walson Army Hospital, Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In many situations, uniform dress on base did not require a necktie, but a tie was always standard when a soldier left the base.

One Sunday, knowing that I was leaving base for an evening church service, I unbuttoned my shirt and shoved the required tie in between the uniform and my undershirt so I wouldn’t have to return to the barracks after duty. That afternoon, I went to the bathroom, but couldn’t find the tie in my shirt, so I ended up hurrying back to the barracks anyway. I quickly tied it, fixed my collar, and then headed out the gates.

The Baptist church was two miles down the road, so I walked and hitched. A couple of pretty girls in a sports car picked me up and drove me the rest of the way to the church, where I slid into the pew just as the service was starting.

In this particular church, visitors stood to introduce themselves. When they called for visitors, I stood up, and in good army “at ease” form, put one hand behind my back . . .

And found the missing tie, dangling from my belt down my pants like a tail. The girls hadn’t mentioned a thing about it.

story told by Steve to Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), May 5, 2013 

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Steve Saves Sandy from a Sledding Accident & Princey

[Uncle Steve] actually saved my life. I was sledding down on the sidewalk by Grandma and Grandpa’s house when the sled took off for the street. Fortunately [he] was right there and grabbed my foot just as a car was driving by! He said, “When we said ‘go play in traffic,’ this is NOT what we meant!”

You may not know this, but [Uncle Steve] actually saved my life. I was sledding down on the sidewalk by Grandma and Grandpa’s house when the sled took off for the street. Fortunately [he] was right there and grabbed my foot just as a car was driving by! He said, “When we said ‘go play in traffic,’ this is NOT what we meant!”

written by Sandy Moyer (Betty’s daughter) in response to a photo of Taylor and his boys, which Colin Duncan (Bob’s son) posted on Facebook, February 23, 2010

As far as the approximate dates for the sled “incident” (when your dad grabbed my foot as I headed for traffic), I believe it was in latter part of 1960, early 1961. I remember my folks were concerned that JFK was going to be elected president (which he was, obviously). So I am guessing possibly November/December 1960. I would have been seven years old. 

Your dad [Steve] still lived at home. He had a wonderful German shepherd named Princey. I was just speaking to my mother [Betty] about the dog, and I told her that I remember that his food bowl was out in the enclosed porch. She reminded me that your dad had trained him a bit. He would say to Princey: “Stay . . . stay . . . stay . . .” and the dog would look longingly at his bowl but not move toward it. Then your dad would say, “OKAY!” and the dog would make a beeline to his food. I loved that dog; he even walked me to school which was just a couple of blocks away from Grandma and Grandpa’s house. 

added by Sandy Moyer (Betty’s daughter) on November 5, 2012

This occurred outside of 16 Washburn Avenue on the hill in front of the house.  We did have a sidewalk in front of the house before the road, but the sled twisted, turning right into a road. Coming down the road was a car and a sheet of ice. I was where she passed and I reached out and grabbed her foot and kept her from getting in the way of the sliding car. 

I guess that I was about twenty years old, home from Boston University, prior to going into the army.  Betty and Harley were unquestionably home for furlough and we all took advantage of the snow and the wintertime sport.  I don’t think that I was so impressed that I was a hero, as Sandy might have remembered, but I like the idea of being thought of as such.  My Brother Tad, who was called Junior at the time, was probably in the Air Force at the moment and others of the family were not about. Who was doing the cooking?  I’m not sure. I would imagine it was the work of both Grandma Duncan [Virginia] and my sister [Betty].

added by Steve on November 26, 2012

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A Practical Vision for World Missions

AngolaDr. Ockenga’s vision for missions was sparked by the People’s Church in Canada and it lit up this church’s vision. His/their method of fund-raising for missions got to be famous and inspiring in always attempting from the pulpit to encourage a growth each year in the budget and the number of missionaries that it supported. I picked up the vision for missions there and also via my sisters [Lee and Betty], who were reinforced by the teaching and worldview of the church.

One of the missionaries, Dr. Robert Foster, a good speaker and lively advocate of medical missions in Africa became one of my ideals for foreign service. He was first a missionary sharing the Gospel and then a very interesting and resourceful physician and surgeon in third world service. He later became sort of a mentor by mail of my progress through medical school.

With pleasure and excitement we accepted the call for foreign missions in Angola after a stint doing medical work in South Dakota among the Sioux Indians. Park Street Church became a willing and supportive backing for our service of 17 years.

Park Street’s purpose was to be intimately involved in the lives and work of its foreign representatives. Through the 100% support policy, the whole congregation got to know us individually and in our own priorities there in Africa. A Barnabas Group, with eight to twelve members, closely followed and upheld us in their prayers and with material and emotional backing.

We were blessed greatly and more profoundly than by any of the other 15 churches that financially supported us during our time out in Africa. Only the Newton Presbyterian Church did as great a financial support though perhaps a lesser emotional and spiritual support. The Park Street vision is to be applauded and emulated by any church.

written by Steve for Colin Duncan (Bob’s son), March 18, 2011

My sister Lee had been involved with a camp specifically set up for African American children. This existed while we were in Philadelphia and I was probably five years old. It impressed me that she was doing it cross-cultural work, and not for the purpose of being cross-cultural but in service to God. Most of the time that I was growing up, Lee was out of a house in university nursing school and preparing for work, probably in the third world. So I had the vision planted in my mind that this was a way to go when I was an adult.

While I was in high school and early college, Betty and Harley when off to France in mission work. Because they too were highly favored in my estimations, they impressed me that I needed to go somewhere “out there” for the purpose of sharing the Gospel.

But perhaps the foremost in my leadings toward mission work was Park Street Church, which my father (Taylor) insisted we attend when we returned to the Boston area after the Second World War and our return from Philadelphia. Figuring in this influence were annual missions conferences,  where missionaries were paraded in front of us and challenged us to be involved in taking the Gospel to somewhere other than our own home. Among those that were a challenge and an encouragement were Dr. Robert Foster and his wife Belva. They had been working in Zambia. Later they started work in Angola, a Portuguese speaking country. I corresponded with them during my college and medical school career. It was Park Street’s minister Dr. Ockenga that started and kept the motion going toward missions as the only alternative for our future.

Both of my sisters Lee and Betty were being supported in their mission work by Park Street Church. It was only natural that after my time in the U. S. Army and in graduate school that I took six months off and went to Peru. I worked in the medical laboratory there because I had already been trained in that work. After asking Marcia to marry me, I left for Peru and its jungles. After the short term work in the laboratory, I returned in the middle of 1966 and we got married (Dec 1966). Even before Marcia and I tried tied the knot, we spoke extensively of serving in the third world. When we returned from medical school in Italy, I entered the internship at the Waltham Hospital, surgical residency at the Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, and then five years with the Sioux Indians in Sisseton, South Dakota. We listened to an appeal for help in Angola to start a new hospital. So in 1983, we left for Portugal to get two months of training and the Portuguese language, and then flew to Luanda, Angola and eventually to Lubango in the Huila Province. Serving in a cross-cultural situation was being fulfilled.

added by Steve on November 26, 2012

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