From the November 2012 magazine.

November 2012: It's a Wonderful Life

A World War II vet remembers the woman who saved his life 54 years ago

On Jan. 31, 2012, I celebrated, with two AA friends, my 20,000th day of sobriety. I know that if I can work this program, anybody can—if you are willing to follow the Big Book. AA has been a way of life for me since April 30, 1957. I would not trade that for anything. Even after 54 years of sobriety, I can remember what it used to be like, what happened, and I am very happy.

I now live in a nursing home, where the message has to be carried to me, as I am unable to get out to meetings. The AA community in Trempealeau County, Wis., has a meeting at my nursing home every Sunday night. I have a cell phone, which I use to call half a dozen or so AAs a day, keeping in touch to give encouragement and offer what I know of the program. I keep their numbers in a pocket on my wheelchair. It’s funny how now I can call another AA from my wheelchair. When I got into the program phones were attached to the walls, and they were “party lines,” where neighbors shared the same line, so we didn’t talk much AA on the phone, as the neighbors could pick it up and hear whatever anyone was saying. Anonymity is a bit better nowadays!

-- Oliver P./D.M.

Mondovi, Wisconsin

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