To Ocean County Parents for Veterans Day
I saw a whole other side to my father over the weekend. By looking through a bunch of slides he left behind, I discovered photos taken of him and his Army buddies during the Korean War. He was only about 18 or 19 years old. In many ways he looked young to me, not unlike the way my nephew looked at that age. But seeing images of him holding guns and wearing fatigues told me he was there to do a very adult job.
There was kind of an odd mix of feelings going through me. On the one hand I was so happy to see these long lost images of Dad. But on the other hand, it was unnerving. This is a man who I knew only as a loving father and grandfather. It rattled me to see him with a weapon and wearing a uniform, possibly "dressed to kill."
I noticed the faces of all the other young men in the photos. They looked tired. And sad. There were a few photos that showed some of the lighter times (bottles of liquor and packs of cigarettes could be seen.) It looks like the soldiers had some down time. But I wondered about all they people they were missing while they were stationed overseas. I can't really imagine the sacrifice people make when they join the armed services. I admire the strength of all the men and women who do it.
So as we get ready for Veteran's Day, I'm remembering my dad and all those who served and continue to serve in the military. I am proud of his service. And grateful to all his pals. To you Dads and Moms who have served in the military...thank you. And to those of you whose children have gone off to serve...I admire your strength too.