Tuesday, June 15, 2010
For me, and lots of other folks, two events in June are inexorably connected: Flag Day and Fathers Day. I am reminded on both of my father who was a Marine who fought and was wounded on Iwo Jima during WWII. Although I was only five years old, I remember the image of the raising of the flag on Mt. Surabachi which was in the newspapers and the movie newsreels at the time. We, my mother, my little sister, Donna, and I, did not know my father's fate. When Donna and I knelt down to say our bedtime prayers, "God bless Daddy" was always part of them. The man who returned from the war would not be like the one who departed for it. The war changed him. He did not talk about it, and when he first got home, suffered with nightmares that woke us frequently. I knew he had been wounded, but it was not until I was much older that I realized the wounds were not just physical. He had been hit by mortar fire and lost part of his knee and suffered wounds in his shoulder and back. When he finally came home, he was still on crutches. He was then, and always will be my hero: John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Superman, and Buck Rogers rolled into one. He passed away five years ago, and I wish we had more time together. I never got to tell him enought times how much I loved him. The things I learned from him I will never forget. The most important one being how to be a man. I hope I learned well.