I’ve probably said most of this before, but I got a call this morning from Matt and he said he had been thinking about me and my Dad (grandpa to him) and how we were veterans. So, I’ve been thinking about that all day. I was never too close to my Dad, but I’m proud of the fact that he served in the Army during World War II. You might remember that he spent most of his tour of duty in Italy.
Italy was part of the Axis along with Germany and was definitely our enemy. My Dad spent basic training in Kansas where my mother went to visit him when I was a baby. Then he sent to Italy where he fought until he got shot in the leg by an Italian bullet. Wounded, the war was over for him and after a time in the hospital, he came home. He received a Purple Heart for that bullet.
Unfortunately, when he got home he had decide that he didn’t want to be married anymore. The war had done something to him to make him want to be on his own. So he left and my mother raised me by herself. At least for awhile.
I am technically a veteran, even though I never fought in a war. I was enlisted in the Air Force during a time that is officially considered part of the Vietnam War. Today, I’m considered a veteran for things like VA loans (if I wanted one).
A few weeks ago, I went to a concert at the Church Conference Center. They had patriotic portion of the presentation and they asked everyone in the audience who where in the various services to stand while they played the theme song of that service. When they announced everyone who was in the Air Force, I stood with about 50 other guys while they played “Wild Blue Yonder” which is the Air Force’s theme song. I was really proud to have served my country. I never fired a gun (except on a rifle range), but I did contribute something to the country by my efforts and I’m proud of that.
I really enjoyed the four years I spent in the service. I gave a lot of thought to re-enlisting, but knew that a career in the service wasn’t really in my future.