Lawrence Ernst William Poldrack grew up in Taylor, Texas, a small town 29 miles north of Austin. He was the oldest of seven children, and was forced to be sibling and parent when his parents divorced. Feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, and wanting to be the kind of role model his siblings could look up to, Lawrence felt the need to serve his country.
He joined the Army in February 1946 and became a member of the 24th Constabulary Squadron. His military occupation consisted of driving his lieutenant around during World War II. In other words, Lawrence was considered a chauffeur, but his twin daughters, Denise Poldrack and Patrice Morrison,(both residents of Waxahachie) said their father's service during the war was so much more than that.
“Daddy was a driver for a lieutenant, and he was chosen because he could speak fluent German,” Denise said, noting that her father was of German decent and until age 5, German was the only language he knew. “During that time, the city of Berlin was divided four ways. Many people were being kidnapped and daddy had to demand their release from the Russian soldiers.”
Lawrence was utilized during this time, because he could speak the German language and understood Russian.
As the daughters reflected on their father's service to this country, Morrison talked of the time her dad rescued an American girl who had been kidnapped.
“Not only did daddy serve as a chauffeur, but he was also an interpreter,” Morrison said. “This young girl had been kidnapped and daddy was the one sent to rescue her. All he was allowed to carry was a gun that had to remain in the holster.”
Denise added that her father was a man of short stature, standing at about five feet and four inches tall, going up against some pretty tall Russian and German soldiers.
“He had to walk across a bridge that was the dividing barrier,” Denise said. “The Russians were tall and when they saw the short soldier they began laughing.”
In an effort to smooth things over, and take the girl to safety, Lawrence provided the soldiers with cigarettes, but he had to light them before the girl was released.
“That was by far the most interesting story he had ever shared with us,” Morrison said.
Denise said she remembers her father describing what it was like landing on the beach.
“When he landed on the coast he said it was the weirdest feeling, because no birds were in the air and everything had been destroyed,” she said. “Silence was very noticeable during that time.”
The twins stated that their father loved being in the Army and serving his country. He earned the WWII victory medal and was given an honorable discharge.
“It was good for my dad to serve in the army, because it caused him to mature and grow up,” Denise said. “He became a mentor for his brothers and sisters and he was always willing to carry the weight of others. He would get put out with his siblings sometimes, because they acted real immature.”
She said her father always said that every young man should join the military-
Morrison said when their father passed away in April of 1998, she was presented with the U. S. flag, she a lifetime of memories flashed before her eyes.
“I remember being very proud of him because he was proud of the fact that he served in the army,” she said. “I thought to myself, he did a lot and experienced a lot.”
Morrison continued by saying war changes people and for her father that change was good.
Lawrence later became a pastor and held several pastoral positions in churches. Morrison said her father's military experience is what made him a very good pastor, because it gave him courage to talk to anybody about anything.