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A Salute to Vets and My Dad on Veterans Day
Veterans Day just passed on November 11th. It's is a day to reflect and remember all those that served in the military, who fought, were wounded or died fighting for our precious freedom in the USA.
Hopefully you took a moment on Veterans Day to show any veteran you meet or know your appreciation. Shake their hands and say; thank you for your service.
Early on my father developed into the strong, proud man he became thanks to serving our country for two years in WWII aboard the USS Antietam CV-36. He told my brother and me “Two things can straighten out any man, the military or a good woman.”
He went on to develop some good habits after his military days ended. He was an early riser everyday whether he was working or not. Dad worked hard no matter if he was on the clock or working in and around the house. He became the steady Eddie; was married 57 years, worked for one company for 35 and lived at the same home he owned for 47 years. These are accomplishments I will never match.
I would wake up smelling hash and eggs. It was a breakfast ritual that stuck with him from his Navy days. He didn’t talk often about his war days or ever wore a cap that read WWII Veteran. The few stories I remembered were serious and funny. The serious; seeing the devastating damage post Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombing aftereffects in Hiroshima. The funny; buying spiked whiskey in the Philippines, spiked with what looked like flat cream soda, but was another undrinkable liquid that looked similar. This disturbing additive was realized after he and his fellow sailors were on the carrier. He was not an emotional man, but did get a bit more emotional on his 75th birthday when I gave him a framed picture of his Honorable Discharge that included an image of the USS Antietam CV-36 and the medals he earned.
To those men and women who served, I salute you all. Aside from being proud of my father who lived to be 84, being a veteran is amongst his proudest accomplishments. All the benefits our veterans get are well deserved. I am reminded of this each time my family and I visit Calverton National Cemetery where he’s laid to rest with my mother.