My Father the Hero

While everyone and their dog is out there blogging about politics, I’ve been keeping my head down and my nose clean. You see, I think I’m the last living Republican fiction writer, though I’m quick to point out I’m a moderate. I’m also quick to point out that this election for me will be the lesser of two evils. Again. And I’m not sure which evil scares me less, the one who has celebrated ties with an unapologetic, violent 60s radical, or the one whose health plan will make my family and millions of others completely uninsurable.

Screwed no matter what we do folks. Welcome to America.

But that is all I will say on the subject. Today is about something much more important – the folks who fought and died so we could have the right to choose between psycho and psycho-er. Veterans.

My dad was a career Air Force man. I came along late, so only got in on one move with the Air Force – from Sacramento, CA to Cheyenne, WY, where Dad retired and started working as a civilian employee. But Dad went into the Army Air Core straight out of high school (the first time – he later went on to college and back into what had become the US AIr Force), and was shipped over to post-WWII East Germany, where he went in and got the POWs out.

Dad still has Russian shrapnel in his… well, he was running away from an internment camp with a guy under his arm. You know where that bullet hit.

So this week, he an a bunch of his cronies got the opportunity to be a part of what is called an Honor Flight. Thanks to private donations, a bunch of WWII vets were able to go to Washington D.C. to see the WWII memorial. They met a general fresh back from Iraq (Mom and I still don’t know which one, but suspect it’s Patraeus), and pretty much sit around and get a proper thank you for what they did. Obviously most of these guys aren’t too young – Dad was the infant of the group at 77 – and the turn-around time of out Tuesday, back Wednesday was a bit much for anyone, let alone a 90-year-old, but Daddy had a good time. Last night when Mom called to let me know he’s gotten home okay, he was chattering away in the background excited as all get out.

They asked him if he wanted to go again in April –  he declined. This trip has worn him out enough for one year.

Dad doesn’t talk in a lot of detail about his time in Germany in the late 40s and early 50s – he was just a kid, and as far as I know, saw a lot of things that have left him raw all these years later. But I do know it was a tough time for the entire world. And we keep finiding ourselves at the same point in history, just with a different cast of characters. I don’t know what my point is, really – I’m not sure I’m entitled to have one, since I’ve never been invested in a war the way my dad was. All I know is he was there, he saw the choas, and he never regretted going and doing his part. Maybe that should tell us all something.


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