Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Tribute to my Dad.

Aircraft Carrier, Ship, Naval, MilitaryI would like to thank all those who help protect our country now and in the past.  My father is a veteran who fought in World War II and the Korean War.  He served as a naval medic on board ship in the Pacific Ocean during World War II and just off the coast of Korea during the Korean War.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Sky, Clouds, PortThe following stories might make you a bit uncomfortable but these are the few stories he has shared with us while we grew up.  My father was older when he met and married my mom. When I was growing up,  my father seldom spoke about his experiences.

 When I was around 10 or 11, my father finally decided to quit smoking.  It wasn't until many years later that he told us the reason he took up smoking. He started smoking because the stench in the hospital wards were so bad, you could taste it.  The smoking helped tolerate the situation.

Another time, he told us one of the ships he was on was attacked by the Japanese and he had to go man a gun to shoot at them.  I don't know if he hit anything. That is really the only time he spoke of actively being attacked. 

Aircraft Launch, Aircraft Carrier, ShipThe last story he told was when he was working on an aircraft carrier and a plane tried to land on the deck.  The plane bounced at the wrong moment and missed the catch wire.  At that point the pilot apparently gunned the engine while a bunch of people were running to take cover and the plane managed to get enough power to get over the back netting and was able to do another go round before landing properly.

Those are the only stories I've ever heard from my dad concerning the two wars he served in.  I realize from a couple things my mother said that my dad came back from war with some issues.  He's adjusted and done well in life.  In fact, when I took he and my mother to Hawaii four year ago, we went to the zoo.  That day was special because they were letting vets in for free.  My dad combed through his wallet twice before finding a dog-eared and ragged card that stated he had served in the Navy and was honorably discharged.

Thanks to my dad who is now 91 and all the others who have laid their lives on the line for our country be it in the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, or any where else in the world.

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