It always seems to hit me about this time of year: remembering our men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces.
My dad served. He was proud of his service in the U.S. Marine Corp in the 1st Marine Division. Awarded a Purple heart for wounds he received in action on Okinawa in 1945, he went to North China at the end of the war.
His nickname was “Rapid Robert” which was given him by his fellow Marines because dad, who apparently was a messenger, could run faster than anyone in his platoon. He was assigned the task of moving messages around on the front lines of Okinawa.
But dad’s life was more than just military service. He came home, married, found a satisfying career, and started a family. He was a part of the “Greatest Generation” that shaped our country from the end of World War II through the end of the 20th Century.
I went back and re-read his obituary today. Writing just prior to his death on December 14, 2002, he highlighted the things that were important to him: his birth date, his parents, his military service, his immediate family, his church, his profession/work, he was a pilot (in his early years), and the Lions Club. He mentioned that he was a founder of the Foothill Little League! I had forgotten that.
Dad did what he believed he needed to do and contributed. He was a part of the just put your head down, work hard, don’t complain, and do it generation.
I admire that and was shaped by his example. While he’s gone now, I’ll say it anyway, “Thanks, dad, for your example, including your military service.”
And thanks to all who are currently serving and sacrificing (including their families).