Untold Story

On this Memorial Day, I am reminded of my Father’s adventures as an Army Scout in WWII (a prelude to the Army Rangers) which made him front runner to alot of excitement and danger. Most men of that generation never spoke about the war but my Father was a great story teller. He would have us girls all mesmerized by his recollections… some funny, some clever and of course many sad ones too.

We actually wrote a book about his adventures and it got into the hands of a person that knew my Aunt and Uncle. The man said he was stationed with my Father and remembered him well for his heroic deeds and honor. My Sister’s and I were very proud.

While he was still alive, my Sister Julie decided to re-collect all the medals he had earned in the War as the originals were long ago gone. She filed all the necessary paperwork with information he could remember and the process began. Unfortunately some of the records from WWII were destroyed in a fire and the process of re-creating such a thing was a long process. The medals arrived 3 months after my Father had passed away.

Julie called me to let me know they had arrived and when I got there, she handed them to me so I could look through them. They’re really beautiful to look at…colorful ribbons and bars. I knew he had 2 purple hearts but had only received one in the mail. But it was the largest Black leather box that caught my eye.

You must understand that I grew up latched onto my Father’s pinky finger and I followed him around through my teens. I was a confident in many of his secrets and I thought I knew everything there was to know about the man…or at least all that he would let on.

When I opened the black leather box… I was momentarily stunned. To be honest… I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. After all those years of stories and all the time I thought I really knew my big hearted, humble Pop…there was a story left untold until that very day…sitting on my Mother’s couch. My Father had received the Silver Star, our Nations third highest honor for Valor…and none of us, not even me…had ever known…

Remember those who came before… and those who carry on…

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7 Responses to “Untold Story”

  1. Wonderful story, Heather. What a deep honor.

    I went yesterday with my father up to the town where he grew up. We cleaned his parents’ graves. He is getting so old now, it’s heartwrenching to see him age. But oh how I love him.

  2. My own Father passed on 2 years to the date I wrote this yb. It is so very tough to watch your Parent’s age. Either their minds go…or as in my Father’s case, the body goes. And I am so grateful it ended this way because he had a brilliant mind and wonderful sense of humor that he never lost, even as the Cancer took him from us. But both options are gut-wrenching when you love them so very much. We all learn somehow, when the time comes, to let go. I pray you have many years with your Father. Many, many good years.

  3. missyogini Says:

    I found this one to be a very touching post. My parents too are veterans. My mom and dad met while they were both in the Navy. They married in the chapel on the naval base in Lakehurst, NJ in 1969. My dad was discharged shortly thereafter due to his 3 year enlistment being up. He spent the majority of his enlistment though on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean flying a rescue helicopter.

    The sacrifices our service men and women make is an untold story. I am a good person but I couldn’t do it. There are married women who are overseas right now separated from their children. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. But they understand Duty, Honor, Country. And they and their families live with the sacrifices that it requires. I don’t like war. I wish there wasn’t any such thing. But the sad fact is that there was, is and always will be wars and conflicts.

    I really am thankful for those who are willing to make that sacrifice. You couldn’t pay me enough. My father didn’t file any taxes for two years. He has a gap in his social security history because he was living on a ship in the ocean. He recieved no income because everything he needed was provided for him during that time.

    Hard to imagine.

  4. A rescue helicopter…dangerous stuff Tammy. I bet you are so very proud of both of them. I am too.

    It’s hard to believe that there are people willing to postpone their dreams…sometimes sacrifice their very lives for regular folks like you and me to live freely…but they do it day in, day out…with very little reward other than the conviction they hold in their hearts.

    I’m not sure if I could ever volunteer because I’m just not that brave a soul…but faced with defending our old girl on my turf…you bet…even with my garden shovel. 😉

    Say Thank You to your Mom and Dad from me.

  5. Heather, I am absolutely amazed at your and Julies’ finding out about Dads’WW2 award. I, like you both, never knew. As a very small child, I used to pin his purple heart on and other colorful bars, and run around outside like a wild thing. They were in mommas makeup drawer. Daddy never cared that I played with them. My dear husband, Doug, cried when he read about the honor that our dear Father had been awarded. I cry in secret at times.. Lord I miss him…

  6. Yep, It was quite the shocker…and of course he would have loved it that way…and yes, I miss him everyday…

    ok, now at least I don’t feel so bad. I thought I was the small child that lost all the originals…now I know it was probably you and Julie playing Army! Dang girls never could be “Girls” HA!

  7. missyogini Says:

    “…but they do it day in, day out…with very little reward other than the conviction they hold in their hearts.”

    You said it! So true. And thank you to your dad. I’m sorry you can’t say it to him. But I am sure he knew you all were so proud of him. 🙂

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