Monday, May 29, 2006

I digress from poker talk today (Memorial Day in the USA) to recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served in the military. On this solemn day in particuler, the citizens of the USA remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

My father was a proud veteran of World War II. In his later years in particular, his military experiences seemed to shape a major part of his identity. He would head down to the local VFW hall to tip a few and share in the experiences of those who had also served. He loved helping his fellow VFW guys when they sold corn on the cob at a local yearly festival. He would not miss riding in the local Memorial Day parade.

Watching Saving Private Ryan was bittersweet for him. While he loved the story, he also noted that the movie had the most realistic portrayal of war that he had ever seen. I bought him Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation," which I know he enjoyed. Sometimes these movies or books would be the gateway into some of my father's war stories. Some we heard many, many times over the years. Others only heard once on those rare occasions when he would dredge up things that were buried deep inside himself. I am sure that there were many things we never heard and he never wanted to remember.

WW II deeply affected my father's life. On one hand, his military experiences were a source of pride and accomplishment. On the other hand, his service overseas, in my opinion, had somehow bruised his soul and limited his ability to live life to the fullest. However, this got better in his later years until physical problems and dementia took their toll.

My father passed away almost two years ago. He has to know that his family is thinking about him on this day that meant so much to him. To Dad and everyone one else who sacrificed - thanks.


Blogger kipper said...


I can TRULY APPRECIATE your post about your father and Memorial Day.

Having spent 25 years in the Army myself, including 3 tours in Vietnam, I can TOTALLY relate.

Those who have never been to war, have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of what it's like. What they might see in the movies, or even on the 5 o'clock news, isn't even CLOSE to being "in the thick of it".

Your eloquent statement, "bruised his soul" is an "UNDERSTATEMENT" IN EVERY SENSE!

I'm terribly sorry for your lose of a father. I'm sure that he is with the hundereds ot thousands of other Military MEN, Who went before him. I'm VERY SURE, that when my time comes, your father will be there waiting to embrace me, as others did him.

God Bless you and yours


John R "Kip" Ecclestone
1SG US Army (Retired) 1965-1990

11:58 AM  

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