Monday, May 27, 2013
My Memorial Day Story
My dad did not serve in World War II. He was 28 at the time, married with one child, and the chief support for family on both sides. I wonder about this, as other men his age, in like circumstances, did enlist. I never thought to ask about this, as we were not a particularly flag-waving military family. My dad's brothers, however, did serve. The older one was married, but without children. The younger two--one in the Army and the other in the Navy--were already in the service when the war began. I can't speak about the former's service, but do know that my Uncle Hap's stint in the Army and Uncle Bill's career in the Navy are not to be discounted.
In 1984, we held a family reunion in Lampasas, Texas, shortly before my dad and the brothers began passing away. That night, my Uncles D.L., Hap and Bill were holed-up in one of the motel rooms, engaged in a heated discussion about "the war." My dad, not having a dog in that fight and a bit bemused by it all, stepped down the veranda to the room where other family members were congregated, including Aunt Mary (Bill's wife.) Although as the wife of a naval officer she had lived around the world, she spoke as if she had never left her Polish neighborhood of Buffalo. My dad shared what was happening in the other room, to which Aunt Mary quipped:
"God. To hear D.L. tell it, you'd think HE won the war--when everybody knows that Bill did.”
Thanks for that, Aunt Mary.