My dad was a hero, and not just because he marched off to two wars in his youth. Like most of the Greatest Generation, his whole life was lived courageously. He inspired all of his six children to do better and be better. I wrote this tribute of him for the Pets in Space release (to promote our donation to Hero-Dogs.org) thinking, hoping he’d get to read it but he passed away before the release.
I thought today, Veteran’s Day, would be the right time to share this tribute with my faithful blog visitors:
When my dad came home from the war in Korea, my mom says words spilled out of him, stories she—a young wife of barely 20—had a hard time processing. She says she listened and then it was over. When I was young, my dad never talked about the horrors of war to us.
A natural storyteller, he made it sound like they spent the time playing jokes on each other and exploring the countryside and just every now and again getting shot at.
My favorite was the one about how he built himself a “camper.” He’d go into the dumping grounds, the compounds where they hauled broken-down, exploded vehicle parts, figure out what he needed and then just stroll out. He did this until he had a completely rebuilt truck with a small living space in the back.
It was not the first, nor would it be the last time my dad built his way to better. In his very understated way, he taught me about coping with hardship and how to be brave—though I didn’t realize just how brave he’d had to be until I was an adult.
While helping my dad to prepare to participate in the dedication of a Korean War Memorial in his hometown, my brother found this in his papers:
“Distinguished Unit Citation…
We owe the Greatest Generation so very much! Whether you buy a copy of Pets in Space or not, I hope you’ll consider donating to Hero-Dogs.org or your favorite Veterans’ charity today. We must never forget what we those who have stepped up, who continue to step up, to protect OUR freedom.