Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Memories

My father never spoke of his experiences in the war.  He told me once that he was a medic and never spoke about it again.  After he died a friend who was in the war as well asked what my dad did and I told him that he was a medic.  My friend's eyes teared as he told me what my dad experienced.
Daddy was on the battlefields and it was his job as a medic to take care of the wounded, to try to get them away from the battle.  But he also had to decide who might make it and who would not, so he, according to my friend had  to sometimes leave the dying on the field.  I knew then why my dad would never speak about the war.

When my mom was sick and the expenses were mounting, the hospice nurses told me I should check with the VA to see if there was any help available.  When I went to the local VA office, they told me all the battles my dad had been in, the medals that he had won.  I was shocked.  The woman asked if I had never seen his medals and I told her we did not even know about them that my dad refused to talk about the war.  Her eyes teared up, she had heard similar stories.

In my years growing up, as the Viet Nam War raged, my dad and I had stopped watching the evening news  I could not bear to watch and neither could he.  He knew intimately what those young men were facing.

As the years went by, my dad and I would talk about love.  His whole philosophy became the words in red, spoken by Jesus.  At that point in my life, church seemed hypocritical and I told him my thoughts.  He looked at me and told me he understood, that I would have to work out my own salvation just as he had.  His personal salvation had become a message of love.

I have thought of my dad so many times today on this Memorial Day.  He had so much respect for Memorial Day, it was personal for him.  So tonight, if someone in your family died in the service of this country, I appreciate your family's sacrifice, your loved one's willingness to give all.
Thank you, and somewhere I know my dad thanks you.


  1. Thanks to your father for serving in more ways than we will ever know. My Dad fought in WWII also and was shot in the leg. Who knows, perhaps a kind medic helped get him to safety.

  2. A beautiful tribute to your dad. Some can block out the painful memories and others just can't. Your dad was strong.


  3. There were many veterans in my family. Like you the Viet Nam War was when I was young. My younger brother was killed there. I knew many young men who served there. I soon discovered that the few who were willing to talk of their exploits had not seen action. War is horrible for us at home. I cannot even imagine what it was like for those who were there.