Monday, May 31, 2010
My Dad: One Veteran of Many
My dad was a WWII veteran. He served for two years on the USS Pasadena in the Pacific. My dad passed away when I was 26. I never had the chance to mature enough to respect what my father did during his Naval Service. Instead we would debate the merits of bombing innnocent people to end a war. I was young and a very black and white thinker. I thought I knew it all. I had no idea.
My dad volunteered for WWII when he was 17 years old. When I was 17 years old, my biggest decision was which friend to hang out with and where.
Still decidedly a pacifist, I am cynical enough to know that war is inevitable.
It sounds cliche, but what would have happened if Germany and Japan had won the war? We have no idea the ways our lives would have changed. And because of my father, and people like him, we never have to know.
My dad seldom spoke of the war and he never talked about the difficulties. Instead, he told stories of the barber on board that would cut his hair, the small village that existed on board the USS Pasadena. PTSD was unnamed then, "shell shock" was just vague enough to never get talked about.
So, I am remembering you today, dad. You come into my mind frequently, but today I remember you for what you did for your country in World War II, and as an Naval engineer for 40 years. Rest in Peace, dad, know that you are loved and respected for your service. I wish I could have told you that.