Remembering my dad on Memorial Day
I hope you have had a great Memorial Day weekend. I always enjoy this over just about any other holiday because it is one of the few times during the year when I don't work. Along with the relaxation, I also find myself focusing on something else during this weekend that frankly I tend to forget about too often: my father's military service during WW2.
When I was a kid, I knew my dad mainly as a postal worker. If he wasn't a postal worker, he was an assistant coach on whatever baseball team I was playing on at the time. I really wasn't aware of his military service because he never spoke of it. But, as the years went by, he slowly began to reveal what he had experienced when he was in the military.
My dad was a Military Policeman and entered the service when he was only 19. I had (and have) a hard time imagining my dad being 19, but he went over to Okinawa in Japan as soon as he graduated high school at that age. Imagine growing up in Frankford, Missouri and only knowing that area...then suddenly your in Japan. To this day, I can't get my mind around what that must have been like.
If you have been (or are) a Military Policeman in the service, you know that you tend to see the worst that the armed forces has to offer. My dad would regularly get called out to apprehend some of our servicemen that had gotten themselves into trouble. Or, he would be on the receiving end of abuse from the native population who didn't appreciate that our army was on their land. It was truly the worst of both worlds and it probably had a lot to do with the fact that my dad hated to talk about it. And, he was only 19.
People that know me understand that I am not an artificially patriotic person. In fact, I have become suspicious of what our government is up to both in our country and abroad. But, I am unwavering in supporting those that serve in our military and it all goes back to my dad. To all the other 19 year olds (and older) that have served (and serve) in our country, I salute you today. Forgive me when I tend to forget this fact the other 364 days of the year.