by Henry Sakaida
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On March 8th when I came home from work, there
One of the photo's sent to the author of Hero Umurdinov in his later years.
was a letter on the kitchen table. It was from Uzbekistan! It was from the 3rd son of Mookudin Umurdinov. In part, he wrote:
"I am going to tell you that we were much surprised on receiving your letter! We had never imagined that we would once correspond with a citizen of America! Upon reading your letter, we were very pleased that you are interested in our father and wanted to write a story about him. We are very grateful to you and we will tell you about our father's postwar activities with pleasure."
"Our father returned from the front to Tashkent in 1944, after which he worked as an assistant director of a fire team. Later the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Uzbek SSR called him out and asked if he knew where he had been born and spent his early years. Father answered that he had lost his parents too early and he did not remember his home place. Usman Yusupov advised him to find his kishlak (Uzbek village) and to work for the benefit of his home place."
"In 1945, father found out where his birth place was; he went to the kishlak Boyiston and met his own sister there. In 1946, father was appointed chairman of the collective farm "Namuna" and in the same year, he married the secretary of the village collective, Maksuda Umarova."
"In 1947, the state of his health made him leave that work and to start working at the Fergana bread factory. In 1950, he returned to Boyiston where he began to work as a radio technician and equipped the kishlak with electricity. At the general meeting of the collective farm committee in 1959, he was elected chairman of the revision commission and worked there to the end of his life."
Hero of the USSR Umurdinov's final resting site. Notice the Young Pioneer guards who were assigned to watch over and maintain Hero gravesites.
In 1981, my father died of throat cancer and was buried in a local cemetary. In 1989, mother also died and was buried beside him. They died and left six sons and two daughters."
I immediately called my friend and told him the story. He was incredulous. And then he said, "If it means so much to you, I'll sell you the medal! Besides, I saw something on ebay that I really want!"
I sent the Mr. Umurdinov's son a box of candies and some photos. He sent me a big box of nuts and photographs
The authors daughter pictured with author Henry Sakaida and the very nice reply he received from a new friend in Uzbekistan.
of his father in his later years, and also one of his grave. He also enclosed a color snapshot of his family. Regretfully, I have since learned that after the Hero passed away, the award was returned to government officials and stolen. Some how made its way to a European dealer. A happy ending though, One of his daughters is learning English; she wants to become an English teacher. She and my daughter are now corresponding. This is an excellent way to learn each other's culture!

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