Today is Friday – and Veteran’s Day. I had completely forgotten about it during the day, because while working in a cubicle (euphemistically termed “workstation”) and fighting a headache from the odor of an employee’s over-strong perfume wafting to me from all the way at the other end of the floor (I’m not a huge fan of this “open floor plan” thing), it’s difficult to focus on much of anything else except what is on my computer screen in front of me. Then, I got home and turned on the television to watch an old war movie on Turner Movie Channel. That’s when I remembered it was Veteran’s Day. After I ate, I signed into Flickr and noticed a number of my contacts posting old photos of their family members who had served in the armed forces. Made me think of Dad. Which in turn, made me think of all those old photos of him and Mom that I scanned onto disc some 4-5 years ago. So, I rifled through the photo CDs and found some photos of Dad during his war years.
This is Dad during his time in England, training for the jump over Normandy. When he first joined the armed forces, he was in the tank division. He switched over to becoming a paratrooper because the tank division “wasn’t exciting enough”. He was in the 82nd Airborne Division of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. In addition to Normandy, he jumped during Operation Market Garden in Holland, and at the Battle of the Bulge.
Photos of Mom and Dad during his tank division days. They were quite the lookers, weren’t they?
Dad hardly ever spoke of his war experiences unless he was really drunk. The memories were horrible and the stories awful to tell and listen to. And yet, it’s good for those of us who are fat and happy and working in front of our computers to hear this kind of thing, just so we are reminded of the terrible human toll war takes.
I never really got along well with Dad. But I sure am proud of his duty to America and America’s people.
This short post is my salute to my father, who passed away in 2010 at age 86, and to all those veterans then and now, who fought to keep America free and democratic and safe so that we may continue to be fat and happy and working in front of our computers, not having to grapple with the horrors and toils of war that other people in other countries must suffer through.
Thank you very very much.