Fighting in the Trenches


By John P. Rauls

I was recently talking with my mother about one of her shopping trips. Mom explained that she had found a type of shoe that was so comfortable and durable looking, she bought three pair. Her following descriptive logic behind the purchase is probably not going to be what you are expecting.

Let me put our conversation into context for you. I have always known shoes were important and not just for looks. For instance, my first book report was in 6th grade about “trench warfare” (“fighting in the trenches” that the soldiers had dug out of the earth) in World War I, (1914-1918). Furthermore, because of the rainy conditions during the war, the trenches would flood and the soldiers had a difficult time with their feet getting infected which was labeled “trench foot”. My dad reminded me that there were similar issues with the soldier’s feet labeled “jungle rot” in the Vietnam War (1955-1975).  On my own, I have always noticed that in many movie genres there are certain scenes that that have caught my eye highlighting the importance of the appropriate footware. I started realizing mom might be on to something. (Dad really did make me wear my Dingo boots to the farm so the rattle snakes wouldn’t bite my ankles.)

Mom and I have always had fun conversations about (what if?) scenarios. When she explained the hypothetical rational for her shoe purchase, mom said, laughing out loud (LOL), that if times ever got hard, like apocalyptic in nature, a person’s feet would be of the utmost importance! I had never quite thought of that point in real time 2015 terms, but when I played connect-the-dot in my mind about the logic I did pause a second..I mean there could potentially be a natural disaster or some unthinkable thing transpire. I mean, I really hope not!! “See son,” she said, “you see these shows that have people hoarding supplies in their houses and/or bunkers for some unlikely event? Those folks should really be thinking about their feet.” Kind of funny but she did have a true enough point based on historical references I provided above. Far-fetched? I will leave that to your imagination and if you have a bug-out bag in your closet behind the dusty treadmill, you might wanna throw an extra pair of shoes into it so you can out run the Zombies on Halloween! Have a great week!