Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Flags of my Father

My siblings and I always knew that our dad had served in the military. His first tour of duty was with the U.S. Army taking part in the Occupation of Europe just after World War II. Upon returning from Europe and leaving the Army, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. A few years later, he was called to active duty and sent to Korea.

Until the last 10 years or so, Dad never spoke much about his time in the trenches - which seems typical of his generation. Young men of his time were called to serve, and they served. Many of them died; many others came home again to pick up the threads of their lives. No one called them heroes or treated them as such, nor did they expect it. They simply did their duty.

Over the last several years, Dad has gradually opened up about his time overseas. He has no thrilling accounts of attack or conflict or narrow escapes; but still his experiences are interesting to us as having helped to shape him into the man he is: stern, disciplined, orderly, and determined above all to do his duty by God and his country.

Every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day, Dad proudly flies his U.S. and Marine Corps flags. (He would fly them year-round if he were able, and if the rules of his condo association permitted him to install the proper lighting.) His next-door neighbour adds to the patriotic display with a Navy flag and a Stars and Stripes of his own (the Navy flag can be glimpsed at the right in the photo above).

Wishing a happy Fourth to my Dad, and to all who love our country.

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  1. I don't think that generation thought of themselves as heroes, that just thought they were doing their duty, a word that has become lost to today's generations.

  2. My dad served in the Army for 30 years. He never claimed to be a hero, but he was mine. Thank your dad for me for his service.

  3. My dad was in the Air Force. I still have a picture of him with his entire squadron in front of one of their planes that I cherish. Thank your dad for me too!

  4. My Dad in the Navy. Served in Korea and then in Viet Nam. My thanks go to all the men and women who serve to protect us and our freedom. (My Dad never talked about his experiences either.

  5. I'm so glad he's able to display his flag on select days. I once lived in a townhome that wouldn't even allow that. Talk about freedom...

    We hung our new flag yesterday. We hadn't noticed when we bought it that it's stitched, not printed. With virtually no fireworks, that flag sure brought extra emotion to the holiday!

  6. How wonderful that you showed us your father. Doesn't he look so young? And I am glad that he is able to display the American flag and the Marine Corps flag.
    I really enjoyed talking with the vets who would come to me when I worked as a travel agent and would let me arrange their trips to their reunions. Sadly, they became fewer in number as the years passed by. They were all so humble about their service, they all said the real heroes were the ones who didn't make it home.
    My mother's first husband died in Korea and one of my first memories is watching her looking at his Purple Heart.

  7. My grandfather only talked about his war experiences in his last years ... I think it was only after such a long time that he was able, but he was at Gallipoli.

    A belated Happy 4th of July to you all x

  8. I saw this post a couple of days ago and I just didn't have words. I still don't. It just moves me so deeply how much young men of that generation gave to their country and us and they are so humble about their place in history. I've never served but there are times I would love to salute these men of honor, give them a big hug and inadequately express my feelings of gratitude. Thank you so much for sharing about your Dad, it truly touched me.


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