The son of a mason and boarding house entrepreneur joined the military(Reserves prior) in 1952 earned his Master in Dentistry and was appointed the Chief Dental Surgeon at McChord AFB. Col Noel Hoblit has made his final journey home after 62 years and I was there to see that journey.
When I received the email from Hoblit’s grand-daughter Heidi asking if I would attend the services, all I could do was smile. Another one of our men has come home to his family after all these years. While I was checking into my hotel room I noticed a face I had only seen in family pictures sitting in the lobby. I got to the counter and Col Jerry Hoblit tapped me on the shoulder. He introduced himself, he said Thank you (a lot more words were said) and we hugged. What he didn’t know was when I got to my room I teared up. Those words I will take/hold with me forever.
The morning of the services it was cold (for me), wet and dark. I made my way to the services and what I seen was a family that has longed for the return of the patriarch. The doors opened, everyone stood, and Col Noel Hoblit made his way into the church. I turned and the look on Col Jerry and Fred Hoblit were like to young boys awaiting their father coming home after a long day a work; priceless.
After the services everyone went to the gathering and this is where I got my chance to meet Mr. Fred Hoblit. He was only 5 years old when his father died. What I found so moving was he stated that one of his good memories was of his father teaching him to comb his hair. I walked up to him and introduced myself. He had a big smile, we talked and he reached into his pocket to show me something. Out came a little clear bag and inside was Col. Noel Dog Tags from the plane crash. I had seen a lot of things from the crash, but this one was a little more personal. I asked if I could take a picture of it, if he didn’t mind. He stated “YES, it is because of you I have it.” I turned and said “No mother nature and the Blackhawk team played a big part too.” We smiled and laughed. He & I talked a little more and I asked if I could have a picture with him. He said with little old me and we just laughed out loud…memories.
I am getting ready to leave, I take time to walk up to Col Jerry to say bye, we talked a little more, and he introduced me to several other family members. I got a chance to hear some family stories and we all took pictures
I want to personally thank the Hoblit Family for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel like one of the family too. To Arlington, once again “Thank you” for all you have done to return Col Hoblit to his TRUE final resting place.
“Another day less that I’ll have to wait until I can take you in my arms and tell you again and again that I LOVE YOU.” ~Col Noel Hoblit
Part of a love letter he wrote to his wife Ginia.
Col Noel Hoblit, I am glad I was there to see that one less day. He was laid to rest on the same day of his wedding anniversary to Ginia.