Friday, November 12, 2004

Veterans Day Tribute

Picture from Hometown


From Last Year ( Can't believe I have been pounding this out for over a year!!!)

My Dad served in WWII.  He  celebrated his 85th birthday earlier this month.  The veterans of this war are dying, some 400 per day.  I heard this statistic when Tom Hanks  presented his tribute to the veterans of WWII with the "Band of Brothers"  mini series broadcast on HBO.

My Dad  weighed four pounds when  he was born. The odds for his survival in 1919 were slim. The odds were against him when he enlisted.  He had to trick the doctor during his physical to pass and be inducted into the Army.

I wish I had paid closer attention to my Dad's war stories. The stories are now trapped in his brain, held captive by dementia associated with the aging process. So my memories of the incidents may be sketchy.

While in basic training, the Air Force claimed my father to spearhead a special secret project. He had scored extremely high on the admitting IQ test, and subsequently was needed to put together and coordinate the truck operation for the Normandy Invasion.

Upon completion of the project he stayed with the 101st Airborne Division.  He flew into battle with them. When it was time to line up to parachute out, he took his place in line.  He heard his name called, and ordered to fall out.  Because he was Army, and not Air Force, the Army  had ordered for him to stay behind.

Not one of the men who made the jump that day returned.

This is one of the many stories my father had to tell of his experiences in the War.  The horror, artocities, bravery and heroism were just as prevalent to the men who served in WWII as those wars and/or "police actions"   that followed.

 This generation of men defined bravery.  


mrccgoody said...

Your dad sounds like a real hero...I would love to hear more about it.

sistercdr said...


k2plus2 said...

Mary, thanks for sharing some of your Dad's story.  I cannot ever put into genuine enough prose my gratefulness to all veterans and their sacrifices along with the sacrifices of their families.  I am sorry about your Dad's dementia too.  DO't you jsut wish you had a "key" to unlock all the answers to the quesitons you wonder about.  I wonder if he wishes he could get them out?  Best to ya, Kris

yakima127 said...

What a man...JAE

mlraminiak said...

ANY war is a tragedy.  The more necessary it is, though, the less you hear people coming home crowing about how brave they are and all the sacrifices they made to keep this country free.  The men of our parents' generation just wanted to come home, get married and have families, and put their war exeriences as far into the past as they could push them.  It wasn't only their bravery on foreign shores that distinguished them as "The Greatest Generation."  

ksquester said...

Mary, That was a great tribute....and a great picture of your Dad.  Thanks, Anne

redhdka said...

I love that photo and what a story. They were brave and heroic and gentleman.

readmereadyou said...

He's so handsome. Hopefully that new medication will bring him back even more. Give him lots of kisses if you can. I love that generation of men. There was just something so special about them all.


sonensmilinmon said...

Men look so handsome in uniform, and your dad is no exception!!  I wish I too had paid more attention to my dad when he spoke of his experiences.


mavarin said...

I love that picture! Is that a castle behind him, or a church? Do you know where it was taken?

I think I'm just realizing that we can't know what our fathers went through in that war, maybe in any war. Someone on NPR said yesterday that in Vietnam, there were as many wars as there were soldiers - every one experienced it differently. Hmm, I feel a journal entry coming on! - Karen

cneinhorn said...

What a  story! And what a handsome man!  I love the photo.

sieblonde said...

"This generation of men defined bravery."   So very eloquent.  Very. ~Sie.  

krobbie67 said...

Wow, I got chills reading this. Thank goodness the fates stepped in.
:-) ---Robbie

camaroisle050856 said...

Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us, Mary, and the photo of your Dad.
We do owe a lot to the "generation of men who defined bravery."

Best wishes,

jonesgrl5 said...

*jaw drops* wow, my grandfather's also a WWII vet and he's now deceased. I never met him and I only know that he was in the US army and that he was in the infantry in the ETO. That's all. You're lucky to have all this knowledge.

Luv always,

(I always say "Luv always" so don't feel awkward! LOL)