HOUSTON – A 91-year-old veteran, who served in the 112th Cavalry, was laid to rest Wednesday with a fitting tribute in Coldspring.
“He was one of the last surviving horse soldiers of World War II,” said Dale Everitt, of American Legion Post 629.
George “Poppy” Radney was the next to last survivor of the 112th Cavalry, which served in the Pacific during World War II.
“I lost my best friend,” said Virginia Radney, his wife. “He was there when we needed him.”
He was also there when his country needed him.
“He went into the service when he was 17,” said his wife. “He was gone over four years and came home. And he never talked about the bad times.”
There were bad times to be certain.
“They taught the horses to lay down,” said Everitt. “He shot 50-caliber machine guns across the top of them behind the horse, and the horse stayed perfectly still.”
It explains the horse drawn hearse and riderless horse leading a modest procession that transcended time, as onlookers lined the streets to pay their respects to a man who had seen bad times, but preferred to dwell on the happy ones.
“He was very mischievous, and my granddaughter said, ‘Poppy, how did we win the war if they were all like you?’” his wife said.
If only more were like him, then and now.
“He was very unique. One of a kind,” said his daughter Carrie Dailey. “The most generous person you would ever come across, and a man who when he gave his word, he was true to it.”