George Reichl Senior and Junior started bowling together in 1978. They have been bowling together every week since then, even though George Sr. is now 94.
George Sr. is a World War II Veteran who served with Patton’s Third Army, 90th Infantry Division, earning a Purple Heart after a German sniper shot him in the left arm.
“Dad never talked about his World War II experiences,” George Jr. said. “About the only thing I knew was that, beyond his receiving the Purple Heart and serving under Patton, his injury forced him to change his bowling hand from left to right. He continues to have good health, especially for being 94.”
The Reichls are a bowling family with everyone from aunts to uncles getting involved. George Jr. was enlisted at age 15 when someone couldn’t make a scheduled league event.
George Jr.’s Mom and Dad met in a bowling alley after World War II. “My mom was with a girlfriend when they saw a handsome guy (George Sr.) who they wanted to meet. They pretended not to know how to score the game, asking him over to “help”. That’s how Mom and Dad met.”
George Jr. began to learn more about his father’s service history when they went together on the Lake County Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2018. “I overheard him talk to other WWII Vets about their common experiences,” George Jr. said. “Besides filling in a lot of the details about his service, it made me feel super-proud of him.”
Since going on the Honor Flight and visiting the World War II Memorial and other military sites, George Sr. has been proudly wearing several baseball hats with insignias and emblems of WWII, Purple Heart, Patton’s Third, and Honor Flight.
George Sr. was one of 22 Purple Heart Veterans honored last year at the United Center before a Blackhawks game.
George Sr. still lives in the Des Plaines house he helped build in 1955. He still drives. And, of course, he still bowls.
George Jr is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Manager with Morgan Stanley and lives in Palatine.
This father and son’s closeness doesn’t stop in bowling alleys. “We have a meal or two together every week,” said George Jr. It seems a perfect father/son relationship. But one wonders about the answer to the hypothetical question: who is the better bowler? That’s one for the Great Scorekeeper in the sky.