Veteran Salute: Army vet recounts days spent in military police during WWII

Veteran Salute

An Army recruiter told Tom Giggy if he enlisted before he turned 18 he could delay his call up date for six months. So he enlisted two days before his birthday and planned to get a year of school in before reporting for active duty.

“Surprise surprise,” said Tom Giggy, Military Police, WWII. “They didn’t wait six months to call me they waited six weeks. I had to report for active duty. I didn’t argue with them I just went and did it. I’m glad I did, because everything worked out.”

Tom was off to military police school sooner than he thought and admits it was one of the last job options he would have picked, but he quickly learned it wasn’t a bad thing. 

“No marching. We rode everywhere. We stayed busy. We never had to go shoot anybody, nobody shot at us but we were in combat for several months,” said Giggy.

Part of his job included helping guide American convoys to their destinations so they didn’t get lost. Tom says the war was winding down and the Germans were surrendering faster than the MPs could process them. 

“The next morning we got up came out to get in our Jeeps there musta’ been a hundred German soldiers sitting on the curb waiting for us to get up so they could surrender.”

Tom says the Germans wanted to be American prisoners of war and wanted to be friends with the military police. 

“They were running from the Russians, they were desperate to get behind our lines and they didn’t make any bones about it,” he said. “They needed to be safe behind our lines.”

In fact Tom still has several pieces of art created by German prisoners he met and guarded. After the war there were no trains running, no roads, they were mostly bombed out. There were no phones and no postal system, so former prisoners had a hard time finding their families. 

“So people didn’t know where their relatives were, didn’t know if they were dead or alive, they were just simply existing, barely.”

Tom served nearly three years. He was discharged, spent a week off then went back home to work. 

He got married, had three kids and worked various careers in construction, oil and the stock market. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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