Sunday, December 4, 2016

Duke Abdalla "The Indian"

My heart is heavy.
Duke Abdalla, the man who carried my father to safety after he had been hit by a phosphorus grenade on a South Pacific beach in 1945, passed away this morning. Duke's love for my father drove him to risk his life to save my dad. Had it not been for that day, I and my 5 siblings would have never been born. Growning up my family knew of this story, but Duke never talked about it due to PTSD. I always found it interesting that he named his oldest son Brady. 
Then in 2005 Duke opened up to another Mariene. Duke then told his story to his Grandson's wife and she wrote it down in a book, Stand Like a Man. This is a clip of part of his story.  At the 1:00 mark he tells about my dad. Recently, through some research my sister-in-law was doing, we found out about the book and the effort to get Duke the recognition he deserves but never received, and our 2 families have connected. 
Duke was the great-grandson of Chief Running Bull of the Yankton Sioux. He was a U S Marine. He was my father's brother. My heart is heavy but I know he and my dad and my uncles are hanging out together in heaven today.
Below is the email from his eldest grandson, Doug.

Cpl. Loren Duke Abdalla "The Indian" 1925 - 2016
Cpl. Loren Duke Abdalla "The Indian" passed away this morning peacefully. I will follow up with  another email with funeral arrangements.
GOD Bless his son and wife, my Uncle Brady and Aunt Verna for the unbelievable care he received all through his elder years. Anything he needed 24/7 they were there and things always looked good, because they were behind the scene taking care of business all the way to the end of his trail.
Thank You to my Beautiful Wife, Donna, for getting all the facts and writing them down and telling his story in the book that was written Extremely Well, Stand Like a Man: The Story of Duke "The Indian" I pray his story will be told for many generations to come.
The last book he signed for me was for The Brady Family, as they heard about Duke's story just last month, while looking up their Dad on the internet, Cpl. John Brady, and they could not wait to help Duke get the proper recognition he deserved and contacted my wife through her website for the book, and quickly wrote a witness letter for the DOD stating how Duke carried their Dad out of heavy fire, and they are all grateful to him for saving his life on May 5, 1945. With this 2nd witness letter, Grandpa Duke now knew his story was now complete and had went full circle, like the  Native American Medicine Wheel. This was his closure, and now he can Rest in Peace. To The Brady Family, Thank You!!!
Everyone did Everything they could to support him, and these last 8 years have been a True Blessing!! He Stood Like a Man and was recognized by many, City of Chicago, Cook and Lake County's, State Capitol of Illinois, and most recently last year he was recognized by The Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and placed on a buffalo skin rug with a sacred ceremony and Honored with a painted Red Eagle Feather and given the name of his Great-Grandfather Running Bull. He swelled with Pride, and I was a lucky grandson, who he liked to call his driver, and I would parade him around and present his story like I was presenting a Rolls Royce. 15 Governors from Alabama to Wyoming Thanked him as well, and SD Governor Dennis Daugaard even Honored him with "Loren Duke Abdalla Day" on June 18, 2012, his birthday. He was a Member of The Old Breed and the Greatest Generation and he walked with Giants, and he was gonna make sure his story was told and his swan song was more like a Roar of a Lion. I knew Grandpa was always a Family Treasure and Loving to all of us, but when I heard what he did during the Battles of Peleliu and Okinawa during WWII, that is when I knew he was a National Treasure and we needed to get his story out there somehow.
The best part of this is Everyone did come together and he knew Everyone was Thankful for his Service, and he enjoyed this time.
Thank You Everyone for ALL of Your Love and Support for a True Hero!!!
May the Story of Cpl. Loren Duke Abdalla "The Indian" Live Forever and a Day!!!
GOD Bless and Rest in Peace Grandpa Duke.... We Love You!!!
Doug Nykolaycuyk

Eldest Grandson

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