Thank You Dad!

November 11, 2019

Dear Editor:
This is an open letter to the Editor in honor of a special veteran who served in WWII…

It’s a “Salute” kinda Friday…he graduated from Adams-Friendship High School in Wisconsin when he was 17…his mother was not the doting type and entered him in school at age 4 (presumably to free up her day)…this was back in the 1920’s so who knows how she pulled that one off…anyway, all through school he was the youngest in his class and so he graduated a year ahead of the usual schedule…upon graduation he went to trade school in Chicago for a year to become an electrician…by age 18 he had relocated to Washington, D.C. with no desire to return home…in addition to his mother being overbearing, his father was a one legged heroin addict (we’ll explore that in more detail at another time)…a war had just started and times were uncertain…without surprise, he received his draft notice early in 1943…he was still 18… Fort Lee, Virginia was his first exposure to the US Army…he attended QMC School (whatever that is?) and was then shipped to the Pacific Theater…some of the actual dates and tours are sketchy; I think that was purposeful…he ended up in Okinawa, Japan in the midst of history’s greatest war as a man not yet 20 years old…I cannot imagine today’s 19 year old teen standing up to that level of responsibility and sacrifice…he survived the war and went on to have a 64 year marriage, three sons and a successful career…he never said much about his service or what he experienced in the war…all he ever said was he served so his sons wouldn’t have to; that was the goal of The Great War — never again!!…he was proud that he was awarded an Honorable Discharge with the rank of Staff Sergeant…his Eisenhower jacket with ribbons, patches and stripes is now a family heirloom…he has been gone for 6 years but the pride and gratitude of having a father who served so remarkably at such a young age remains…he left a lot behind including some humorous, if somewhat cynical, observations (maybe we’ll share some of those someday as well)…Veteran’s Day is Monday, November 11; a day for America to pause and pay tribute…Dad never made a big deal of his service but we all should…how about a father-son hug and a tearful THANK YOU, DAD?…

Maybe that will express what needs to said…the ducks on the pond always honor their leaders…and Mother Parker says ‘how about a cup of hot Joe, Soldier?’

Kelly Morley

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