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Guardian of Freedom

Updated on July 17, 2015

My Father's name was George and he was 25 when he was sworn into the draft

Mama told me he would drive a jeep or be on foot and not be flying in aircraft

Mom bought me toys of both an armoured car and one of an airplane

So I could see the difference between the two when she would explain

I was battling nightmares from combat stories told to me by my best friend Shirl

Back then when I was 3, she was 6 and was the big girl now in school

I am 82 now and I could express to you as vivid as that morn

what I was doing when Shirl played out that horrific tragic storm

She yelled "BOOM!" and "BOOOOOM!!!" again to dramatize air strike

As Shirl's plane soared and dropped those bombs it scared me off my trike

Wimpy was trying to mooch a burger from Popeye was playing on T.V.

I was bawling loudly on the carpet couldn't hear and was too shook up to see

Mama calmed me down and cracked me up like Daddy used to do

Pretending she was poop-deck Pappy and kept saying "poo-poo-poo"

I feared for my Daddy so much that night after I experienced my first war

I begged Mama repeatedly to read the message my Father inscripted on our door

I needed to feel the courage I sensed through my Mom that night

It came straight from her heart into mine as she held me tight

I recollect Mommy crying so hard as she was bidding her farewell

as Daddy penned oath on the front door that only time could tell

The declaration that was script years before still remains intact

reads "My Sweet Rose and My Son Bobby, Daddy will be back"

Then my Father dutifully left to serve as did a 100 million or more

His absence hardest the first few years, the rest we would endure

Letters came infrequently then became rare and last came none at all

Our letters out returning back , Mom "waited " for "The Call"

The news of my Father's return came by militant messenger to our very door

sorting through a stack of plenty like he'd done so many times before

With witness before him, the messenger asks you to declare to be you

Then one of many, name of relevant is the letter he bestow unto

Salutations granted, he and colleague bid to the next

I was not sure what to feel and Mama seemed a bit perplexed

With Daddy's Fate letter 'tween her hands clasping it in prayer

in virtuous anticipation of this treacherous life affair

Mama bowed her head and signed cross from her brow down to her chest

hand in hand, we drifted back inside to put our minds at rest

With amendment of emotion, I learnt the pith of acronym that day

Envelope unsealed proclaiming Daddy was M.I.A.

How could he be missing, lost, astray or nowhere to be found ?

Where was he and who last saw him and have they looked around ?

Maybe I'm not truly grasping assimilation, granted I'm merely 10

So possibly is there some other way for you to explain that "not present" part again

The affidavit continued on to state that tomorrow there would be a parade

welcoming our live brave heroes back home and cadaverous to be laid

The next day was the first and only time my entire life that I'd recall

witness of fireworks bursting in the sky prior to nightfall

Honored forces poured from jeeps and buses onto safe terrain

Our troops were home, well part of all, to start-off life again

All throughout the afternoon and much into the night

you could hear the wails of widows and the squeals of delight

Amongst the slew of forces I laid eyes upon dispersed all over place

Frank, Shirls' Dad I buttoned down from the beam glowing on her face

Mama kept the door ajar until we both were absolutely sure

that all set free were settled in, shore to mighty shore

The six weeks that past afterwards, I surmised, felt like my whole ten years

Observing Mom sustain the day and her sharing night with tears

One morning amidst breakfast there sounded a knock against our door

In consequence of crunch of cereal I was unaware of what the rap was for

I anxiously awaited Mothers return as I chewed and swallowed to clear the way

To hear, possibly question and precisely digest what she had to say

She had that unnerved look again in her eyes as she sat down at the table

and in her hands she clenched appended news transcribed within the cable

Mamas hands were trembling as she unsealed my Fathers fate

thereafter she dropped to her knees and I was trusting this was great

As soon as she caught back her breath and wiped a hanky 'cross her tears

She said to me, her only son, words I've longed to hear for years

"They've tracked down your Dad and they're bringing him home, he'll be here next week"

For about ten minutes we clutched and cried cause neither one could speak

Mom then flung up her arms exclaiming "So much to be done"

as I was thinking of things to show my Dad besides my plastic gun

Mama, I asked, does the letter state where Dad was ascertained

She scoured the letter for many clues but nothing here was gained

During the week that followed, Mom and I had such a blast

planning celebration for accumulation of our family's past

Mama and I decided to keep both our showings limit three

To not tire Dad and after sup to watch a home movie

Mom still unsure of what to prepare said dinner will be set for eight

and reminisced about the past with my father and his favorite foods they ate

She then pulled out a stack of records and knelt down on the floor

and spoke to me of how after the music ceased they two danced some more

I went off to get my picture of my Dad, the last one that we received in the post

To practise my recital to dual with him words I'm sure he spoke the most

"I am an American Soldier" it begins and ends that very way

and the 101 words in between I repeated all that day

The afternoon of my Dads arrival I went out to the curb to sit and wait

Mama stayed in to tidy up with door wide open, her eyes fixed on our gate

I sprung to my feet with my heart pounding and eyes open wide in stare

as I saw the limo coming towards me with flags waving in the air

Mama was still not at the gate when the first officer got out of the car

He and another helped another out and that's when my thoughts just went bazaar

The three men were approaching us all dressed up in suit

One pushed one in a chair and two walked up on foot

None resembled my Father from the pictures that I had

I turned to ask my Mother ~ "Mom, which one is Dad?"

Before she could answer me the first officer stood in salute

and he resolved all questions to this honorable tribute

He was the commanding officer of my Dads brigade and was here

for the part

to personally escort an officer of highest honor pinned with purple heart

Then two of three saluted one as they stood in military array

Father in the middle was the charlatan of the day

Of all stories I've heard about growing up I knew that very moment that one was surely a lie

watching tears stream down Dads face proved big boys still do cry

Mother reached for my Fathers hand, the only one that still moved

and walked beside as they rolled her hero in with his self-service that he proved

With final salute from his two comrades Dad bid his friends goodbye

Then just us three, my family and me embraced and had the best of cry

We then sat down to a memorable dinner which started out in prayer

my eyes, I kept open and fixed upon my Dad, still not believing he was there

Not one of us could keep from conversation, you could hear laughter above all

Father may have lost both his legs, yet to Mom and I, he still was just as tall

I helped settle my Dad between us on the couch so we could share parts of our lives he missed

My Mother restored confidence in my Fathers love more each time

that they kissed

And even though the future within my mind about my Dad had deplorably been altered

I remained mortally appreciative of his gist that yesteryear not faltered

Mom assisted Dad as they both came in my room to say goodnight and snuggle me in bed

I noticed a thin small box in Daddy's hands as he bent to kiss my head

"Son" my Dad began "I was honored with this medal of personal courage, that I now bequeath to you"

"Truly my mercenary that checked the courage in my being the day of my adieu"

For 72 years now there's one thing I do the same every evening before I retire for the night

I open box and kiss the heart and position it in sight

Holding valiant love for my Father proudly I'll fall fast asleep

One of Daddy's hearts on my stand and one within to keep.


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    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      6 years ago

      Hi Linda,

      What a Beautiful, Heartfelt story. It Truly was a Poignant read.

      I now look forward to Following your Hubs. I'd also like to extend a Warm Welcome...We are like a Family of Writers here.


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