Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

My dad was never in the armed forces. He was a child during WWI and over 30 with a wife and baby when WWII broke out. He worked in a lumber yard in a tiny Minnesota town at the time. He decided to move to California and work at the Lockheed Aircraft plant after Pearl Harbor. (They needed workers badly and had even stooped to hiring women!)

I never knew what motivated him, whether it was high paying jobs, patriotism or restlessness. Probably a little of each.

After my parents died, I inherited all the small black and white pictures taken during the 40's in California. There's one of my cousin Norma looking really sharp in her WAC's uniform, another of my dad's cousin Leo in his Navy uniform, and my uncle Wes in his Army uniform.

Wes married my aunt Leona during the war and then shipped overseas. He was captured and held in a Japanese POW camp. I'm told he never talked about the experience. He went on to become a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who died of lung cancer from the cigarettes he started smoking in the service.

Some years later, his son Steven went to Viet Nam and came home with his body and his psyche intact. He married and had a son, Troy, who has now served three tours in Iraq.

War touches every family, all generations, through all time. And it never stops!

1 comment:

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I wish wars could stop. I guess it will stop when humans stop it, and I don't see that happening. Sadly, there always seem to be those who wish to cause trouble and mischief in the world, and those who must prevent their aggression and keep us free!