Friday Night Think Tank: Veterans Day Edition

Doc BrownThe Calendar Commission better not be playing a trick on me, Modern Philosophers.  It really is Friday night, right?

Man, has this been the longest week on record or what?  Getting up early to run has made my days longer, work was stressful, and the nonsense with the garage day put me a bit on edge.  Plus, Sunday was 25 hours long because of the switch back to Standard Time, so it really was a longer week!

I definitely need to put on my Deep Thinking Toga and head out to the Think Tank just to get lost in the Deep Thought Process and chill for a little while.

Monday is Veterans Day, so I thought we could ponder on that a bit.

This week’s topic: Tell the group about a Veteran you’ll be remembering on Veterans Day.

marines I will be remembering my dear old Dad on this holiday.  “Big Austin”, as he was called (even though I towered over him by time I got to high school), served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.

That’s not my Dad in the photo, but I wanted to share a pic of a WWII Marine.  Dad rarely talked about his time in the war.  I know he was on Okinawa when the bomb was dropped, and that he spent the Occupation in Japan.

The only story I remember him telling was that the first time he ever rode a motorcycle was in Japan during World War II.

After my Dad died, I tried to contact the Marines for his service record, but there was so much paperwork involved and no one was very helpful when I called.  I had hoped that he would’ve left me something from his Marine days in his will, but he did not.

Curious as to what it might have been like to be 18 and on the other side of the world during “The War to End All Wars”, I went to the library to do research.  I found a very interesting fiction series by WEB Griffin about the Marine Corps that began in the days just before the war.  I gobbled up every book in the series, and tried to picture my Dad experiencing everything the young men in the books experienced.

SparrowsI wish I had pressed Dad more on his time in the Marines if only to have more memories of him.  I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through his head back in those days.  Was he scared?  Was he brave?  Did he long to see action?

Marines are bad asses, and my Dad was one of them.  He fought in the war that brought us Pearl Harbor, the Nazis, and the Atom Bomb.

I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

Happy Veterans Day, Dad.  Thank you for volunteering to serve this nation, and thanks even more for coming back alive.  Wish you had told me more about your time in the USMC, but maybe you had your reasons for not sharing.  Maybe, just maybe, I became a storyteller to help me come up with my own tales to help me fill in the blanks.

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  Who will you be remembering on Veterans Day?

Remember, there are no wrong answers in The Think Tank, so share whatever comes to mind.  I look forward to reading your comments, but not until after I put out the flag.  Old Glory is going to fly proudly at The House on the Hill all weekend to honor our Veterans!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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20 Responses to Friday Night Think Tank: Veterans Day Edition

  1. floridaborne says:

    My uncle saw a lot of action, too. No one could get him to talk about it. Just as other children who grew up during the depression, he rarely spoke of painful events from the past. So much personal history was lost because of it.

    My dad was stationed over in England during WWII. He was one of the few from that era who wore his emotions on the outside. He was 33 when he went into the army, too old for combat so he was stationed in “supplies” somewhere in England. Though he wasn’t on the front lines, he remembers the V-2 rockets that hit England. His biggest complaint, though, wasn’t about the possibility of death by rocket. It was about the meat. Many of the country’s civilians didn’t have meat, but the soldiers had all the Mutton they could eat. When came home from “the war,” he absolutely refused to eat anything with lamb or sheep in it. The smell would make him sick.

  2. I will be remembering my father, who served in CIB (China-India-Burma) theater, and my father-in-law, who served in the Philippines during WWII (both in the Army). I’ve blogged about my father in previous posts. Also, I will be remembering those in all wars, that made the ultimate sacrifice.

  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    My grandad was a fighter pilot in WWII and he was very quiet about it too. He practically sat in a chair in the corner of the lounge for the rest of his life (or so it seemed). I always remember he’d play cards with us kids for pennies. My grandma made bombs.

    • Austin says:

      Why did they never want to talk about it? WWII was such a grand war, and the Allies were considered heroes. You’d think the man and women who served would be chatterboxes about their experiences…

  4. Leslie Jo says:

    My husband devours W.E.B. Griffin books and has given the entire family ranks. I am, of course, Commander in Chief and received a hat with the scrambled eggs on it. But that’s just for show! I think you’re right about needing or wanting to write because of all the questions you never had answered. I’m being selfish, here, but I’m grateful for whatever helped you follow your storytelling path.

    • Austin says:

      Awww…thanks. Love that you used the term “scrambled egss”. That’s such a WEB Griffin thing. I really did enjoy that books, Commander in Chief. 🙂

  5. ksbeth says:

    my dad told me he lied about his age to join the military early and to head out on his adventure. was in japan and most remembered coca-cola and geisha. hmmmm….

  6. A wonderful tribute to your father and veterans.

  7. cat9984 says:

    Love your story. My dad was a Marine, just after WWII. His father was a Highlander in WWI. Grandpa was a POW following one of the Ypres battles. His helmet had a bullet hole on each side, but his head was fine (apparently a hair deflected it). Drove the Germans nuts. True story.

  8. My grandpa was on one of the first nuclear subs. He was an awesome guy. He died about two years after I was born, so I never got the chance to know him well.

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