Monday, May 30, 2011
Memorial Day 2011: My father the Soldier
(Picture of my father plowing my garden earlier this Spring)
My 87 year old father is busy watering his garden so I thought I'd post to say thanks to all the vets and those serving today in the forces. My father was in World War 2 and was with the Fighting 36th Texas T-Patch Division.
He was in the Battle of Selestat and received a Purple Heart for wounds. He has almost lost all hearing in one ear since a shell exploded on top of a fox hole where he was one night.
The foxhole had beeen built a few days before by the Germans and was roofed with logs and covered with snow when the shell exploded beside it.
My father doesn't tell many war stories but I know he witnessed several of his buddies and his sergeant killed while standing near him.
I know that a guy from New York taught him to keep his head down and to walk on the side of the street and not in the middle of it.
I know that as long as he heard the tat-tat-tat of German machine gun fire, he knew that he had not been hit.
I know that he learned to play checkers like a pro on the ship that took months to get him home when the war ended.
Finally, I know that he has no desire to go back to France or Germany, because he says he walked a hundred miles through those countries already.
He was among the youngest and the last to see combat, and I know that the WW2 generation of soldiers won't be around much longer.
My Uncle John served in the Korean War and was an officer. His wife , my aunt JoAnn, lives down the road from me.
My Uncle Bill served in Japan after the war. His wife, my aunt Jeanne, lives in Florida.
My mother had three brothers in World War 2. One of them is still alive and lives in North Alabama and is a retired minister.
My grandfathers were too young for WW1 but too old for WW2 ( that's what they said).
I descend directly from eight Confederate Soldiers: 2 were cavalry, 1 was artillery, and 5 were infantry.
The house I live in was built by my gr gr gr gr grandfather who was a volunteer under Gen. Andrew Jackson in the Creek War of 1813 when the " Tennessee Volunteers" dropped down into Alabama Territory for a few weeks.
He ( the grandfather) then moved to this area and built my house about 1817. He and several other Volunteers felt they had earned the right to live here after that war. Because of that 1813 war and his decision, I am living here today.