Monday, November 11, 2013

A Salute to Dad and all veterans

On this day I honor my father - a Korean War veteran - and all those who honorably served their countries.

Yes, I know not all wars have been just, but many men and women were not aware of or caught up in all the debates. They just did their duty to their nation, and they did it to the best of their abilities.

I respect that.

As for Dad, he never talked too much about what he did during the war. I know he was an underwater demolition expert. I know there were some missions behind enemy lines before landings. I know he was injured. I know he lost some friends. I know he had some medals and decorations; I found them once, but he quietly put them away and didn't want to talk about them.

I also know he was a fleet heavyweight boxing champion. I know his boxing career ended when a pro heavyweight boxing champion trounced him in an exhibition match. I know he made lots of money from card games - in his last years in the nursing home part of our Sunday ritual was to play cards, and even after the strokes he was a sharp player up until the last few months. I know that a stop in Scotland led to him meeting and later marrying a certain Scottish lass. I know the story about one man who dared to flirt with his newlywed bride, and the former fleet boxing champion came home, found out, tracked the guy down and laid him out (dad never told me that one, mom did, with a gleam in her eye!). I know his last duty was in Boston which meant I was born in the naval hospital there and can claim Boston as my place of birth. Thanks to Dad I am a life-long Red Sox fan.

I salute you Dad.

Pax et bonum

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