Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

PFC Edward Haeger

I usually call my dad on Veteran’s Day to thank him for his military service. This year, his dementia is too advanced to sustain much of a conversation on the phone, but if I could be with him, I’d try to prompt a few memories.

In the early 1950’s, Dad and his buddies volunteered in the Army reserves at Chicago’s Navy Pier. They enlisted and went to basic training together at Fort Riley, Kansas. Dad completed his Army stint at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico.

I used to tease Dad that he spent the Korean War stateside, defending America’s southern borders from marauding Communists. Joking aside, he's very proud of his military service.

A couple years ago, the assisted living facility where Dad lived, honored its veterans with a brief ceremony and certificate of thanks. Dad was brought to tears by the acknowledgement, so I called the director to tell her how much the gesture had meant to him. She said his reaction was not uncommon. A person’s military service, no matter how long ago it occurred, played a significant role in his or her life.

I don’t know how much Dad remembers of his Army experience from sixty years ago. I do know that something deep inside him would still salute the American flag, rise with hand on heart for the National Anthem, and beam with pride at a firm handshake of thanks.

Happy Veteran’s Day, Dad!


  1. What a loving and insightful tribute to your dad and his service.

  2. What a nice post about your Dad. We really need to acknowledge all that served no matter where or when.

  3. Gosh Diane, this is a wonderful share. My respect and gratitude to your Dad.