Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy 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 served in the Army reserves at Chicago’s Navy Pier. They enlisted and went to basic training together at Fort Riley, Kansas. Then Dad was stationed to 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 the veterans in residence 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 sixty years ago. I do know that something deep inside him would still respond to the sight of the American flag, the playing of Taps, or a firm handshake of thanks.

Happy Veteran’s Day, Dad!





5 comments:

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

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

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

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