The mission of the Emerald Empire Chapter of MOAA is to advocate for our military community and connect it to the nation we serve.



Emerald Empire Chapter

Military Officers Association of America



Submitted by: Ginger Banks, LtCol, Ret

My father Frank and his brother Larry had a real “checkered past” before WWII began…one could say that both were quite the mischief makers in their youth. But as WWII was ramping up, word was out that the Army needed men who could navigate rough waters as landing craft drivers, and, since these two brothers were the best Idaho had to offer, a blind eye was turned to the multitude of mischievous encounters the two had with the law. So, the boys showed up, raised their hands, then swore to defend and protect on whatever assignment this-man’s-Army could come up with.

Before leaving though, the two decided to ask the young women they had met at a dance in the local Grange if they would wait for them. Then, once the war was over, get married. Frank and Larry popped the question, and to their delight, both women agreed to wait…provided the brothers sealed the deal with a ring.

Elated and knowing they only had three hours until their bus left, the two men asked the one person they knew who could handle the task of finding nice engagement rings... their mother. Handing their mother enough money to purchase two engagement rings, the brothers left to do their duty, confident that the women would soon write to them expressing their pleasure at receiving such beautiful jewelry.

Weeks past, boot camp was ending soon, and there had been no word from their fiancés. Then, on the day Frank and Larry were about to leave for their permanent assignments, they each received a package. What joy! It was from their home town, and clearly written in a woman’s hand. Finally, the two young women had reached out to them, and sent gifts!

Tearing the packages open each brother found a watch, and with it, the following words on a piece of paper “They waited until you got out of sight. So, I bought you a watch, which should stay with you much longer than those two girls did!”  Love, Mom.

Chapter 2

Frank and Larry finally return home after the war, and quickly took off where they had left off…attending the dances at the local Grange. At one of the early dances Frank meets a girl (Mary) that is quite a “looker”, and asked for a date. This fine young woman was from a very strict Catholic family, so her father refused let her go out with him unless the young woman’s best friend Beatrice, acted as a chaperone. Frank, not to be deterred from his goal, enlisted his brother Larry to act as a date for the chaperone, in hopes that he could get to know Mary without the interference of the chaperone. Once the arrangements were made, the two couples went to a local restaurant for lunch...after all, it was cheaper for a meal, and in broad daylight...what could happen? Everything is going fine until the bill arrived. Frank and Larry did "the look" and finally realize that they needed to discuss paying the check further...away from the table.

One look led to another…then a nod, and the two men excuse themselves and headed to the restroom. It took the brothers only a moment to check their wallets, exchange some heated words, and another minute to develop a strategy by which they immediately climbed out the window, found a willing buyer, and sold the watches they had been sent when their earlier “fiancés” just couldn’t wait for them when they enlisted in the Army.

When the boys re-entered the restaurant they realized their dates were having such a good time without them that they hadn’t even noticed their long absence, or the fact that they had entered the dining room from a different direction from which they had left.

Eventually, my father Frank married the nice young woman from a strict family, as did my Uncle Larry marry Bea “the Chaperone”. When my parents and uncle and aunt would reminisce about their courtship, they would eventually credit those watches with playing the most important role.

​              ...just for grins