ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Holidays and Celebrations»
  • United States Holidays

Giving thanks on Memorial Day

Updated on May 25, 2015

My Father: CMSgt George Holder

Source

The handsome gentleman above is my father, George Holder. He grew up in rural Arkansas during the depression. He was one of 7 children born to his parents Marion and Artie Holder. He grew up know the value of hard work. He could be found working in the fields as soon as he was tall enough to stand behind a plow. By 1942, Dad’s older brothers, Owen and Lloyd, were both enlisted in the military.

Dad joined the Air Force at age 16

By the age of 16, Dad had decided he wanted to join the Air Force which had just become an independent branch of our armed services. Dad actually lied about his age in order to join. I believe the recruiter had to have known. Dad may have been 16 but still looked about 12. This young boy, who had never really been off the farm, took off for basic training.

I believe this was taken in Washington, D.C. circa 1949.
I believe this was taken in Washington, D.C. circa 1949. | Source

I admit I do not know a lot about Dad’s activities while in the Air Force. I know there were things that troubled him. I remember a few conversations where he would allude to something that may have happened. There was never any real detail and I knew not to push for more; however, I could tell from the tone in his voice and the look in his eyes that he was bothered by old ghosts. Dad had taken an oath of secrecy about some of his activities years earlier and kept that oath until his death at the age of 72.

Wounded in Korea

Dad served in Korea. At some point during that time he was wounded which resulted in him losing a kidney. He never told us exactly what happened but we think he was bayonetted. He spent about a year in Walter Reed Hospital where he eventually recovered.

The Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany from 1961 until 1989.
The Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany from 1961 until 1989. | Source

Cold War tensions

Mom and Dad were stationed in Germany about the time the Berlin Wall was built. I can’t imagine how terrifying that must have been. Tensions with Russia and its allies were running high and it looked like the Cold War might not stay cold for long. Dad was constantly being called away on different missions sometimes for days at a time. Most of the time Dad was unable to tell Mom where he was going or when he might return. Mom had to keep bags backed for her and my sisters in case of an evacuation.

I know that Dad work with some of the early computers employed by the military and was also involved in cryptography. My family was stationed in Hawaii at the time I was born which was during the height of the Vietnam War. I am told Dad was frequently gone on TDY (temporary duty), I have no idea what he may have been doing; however, given the time and his skill set I can only imagine.

Source

My father retired from the Air Force in 1971 after more than two decades of service. He had achieved the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. This rank was created in 1958 and is the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force. By law, only about 1% of the enlisted Air Force may hold this rank.

I am immensely proud of my Dad and all that he accomplished. I also humbly thank all the current and former members of the military and their families. I am truly in awe of you.

© 2015 Vicki Holder

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Angie 3 years ago

      This is a great tribute, Vicki.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)