Savannah woman has chance encounter with Gov. Kemp while visiting grandfather’s grave
Lyn McCuen’s grandfather Col. Augustine ‘Pat’ Little is buried in Normandy where the Governor was visiting
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Savannah woman and her daughter recently got back from a trip to France they may never forget.
As a stop in Normandy led to a chance encounter with Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp, who just so happened to be there to visit the grave of their relative, and as it turns out he wasn’t the only one.
“I have a picture of him at, 3 or 4, dressed up as a soldier. He wanted to serve forever. As a child he knew he wanted to serve,” says David Little of his grandfather.
David and Lyn’s grandfather Augustine Patterson Little, or Pat as family called him, always knew exactly what he was meant to do and wouldn’t let anything stand in his way.
“To get into West Point, the family story is, he cheated on his eye chart,” says David.
Putting himself in position to serve his country during World War II, doing almost exactly what he wanted to do.
“Well, really what he wanted to do was fly, but his eyesight wouldn’t let him. So, as close as he could do was rebuilding airfields,” laughed David.
Pat would play a vital yet rarely talked about role during the war.
“It’s a unit, the aviation engineers, are something almost no one knows about,” David said.
Pat’s work with that unit is what brought him to France.
“His job there was to rebuild the Le Bourget airport, because it was bombed,” explained Lyn.
It was during this mission that Pat and his team would come under sniper fire.
“Both my grandfather and the driver were shot, but the driver lived. He believes that my grandfather saved his life, that he fell on top of him and protected him,” Lyn recalls.
Col. Pat Little making the ultimate sacrifice, a sacrifice even much of his family knew little about until doing some digging of their own.
“We knew the history, we knew the lore, what we didn’t know was the stories about the man,” David says.
A man gone long before they were even born, now feeling as if they had heard the stories directly from him.
“It makes him, I don’t know, real. We never knew him, but it definitely makes him real,” says Lyn.
And on a recent mother daughter trip to France Lyn decided to make a stop by Normandy where she would find out her family weren’t the only ones hearing his story.
“Apparently my grandfather is a celebrity at the cemetery. He is one of the crosses they choose to share the story about.”
And on that very same day, as fate would have it, someone else was planning to visit her grandfather’s grave as well.
“They said, ‘as a matter of fact, your Governor is here today.’ I said, ‘Brian Kemp?’ They said, ‘yes.’”
The Governor and First Lady not just stopping by but reading the firsthand account of Col. Little himself.
A moment Lyn may never forget.
“It really, to be honest with you, was the highlight of our trip.”
A trip that revealed more of their grandfather’s story.
“I learned some stuff. It was really kind of cool,” says Lyn.
Not just the story of what he did but who he was.
“Besides being a gentleman and an officer, he was just a good person. I’ve always said if I can be of some service of some person, if I leave the world a little better for one person, I’ve done my job,” David says.
A story they don’t plan on keeping to themselves, a story about man and a generation they hope we never forget.
“We wouldn’t be here if these men didn’t serve and do what they did, we wouldn’t be America,” said Lyn.
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