Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering Dad Post-Veteran's Day

I realize it is a couple of days past Veteran's Day, but I wanted to remember my Dad and his brothers who served during World War II. (As did Wes' father, Elder.) When my cousin Marty posted this picture of his dad, Les (far right), Dad (center) and Ken (far left), it triggered a lot of memories. Unfortunately, Dad died before I was able to talk with him about his experiences.
However, Wes and Dad had many conversations and from these I learned that my Dad was
a flight engineer on B24 bombers and he made it through 44 missions in the South Pacific.
The older I get, the more I realize how little thought I have given to those who serve(d) our country and I apologize for that. Thinking of those young men (and women) so far from home fighting so hard with death a part of everyday life makes me profoundly grateful they did what they did for the rest of those back home. In the case of my father, his widowed mother saw 5 of her sons in the war - I cannot fathom that. All five returned home.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - There is currently a book on the Best Seller list that I would highly recommend reading it as a way to get inside the whole experience of war; World War II specifically.
Laura Hillenbrand wrote UNBROKEN about airman, Louis Zamperini, and his capture by
the Japanese in May 0f 1943 and becoming a POW for a long time. Because of his diary and excellent memory it is a story with few gaps and holes - and is hauntingly realistic.
Louis told of his bombing flights, and it became so
much more real to me because of my Dad being on those 44 bombing missions. I could picture Dad with his buddies and how they, too, painted and personalized their aircraft with women and
fearsome characters. I pictured him in the Mess Hall, getting letters from loved ones back home - especially from one certain Vera back in Kansas whom he proposed to via mail and married when he came home. I pictured Dad longing for his Mom and how he worried about her well-being and finances from so far away. I pictured him dreaming about returning back home alive and well.
Thanks to all who served. It mattered.


Cindy Carlson said...

I really enjoyed your blog about Uncle Elom and WWII, I know that your dad is smiling down on you! I am going to check out the book Unbroken - I'm a WWII buff (a chip of the old block), and this looks like a great book. Love, Cuzin Cindy

The Lindahl News said...

Cindy, thanks for commenting! I think you'll devour that book as a WW II buff. We miss our Dads, don't we?