This is a copy of my dad's discharge papers from the Army. I love pondering the information contained on this:
- He was barely 18 when he joined the service and had 7 years of grammar school and 2 years of high school
- His battles and campaigns include the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe
- He received the Purple Heart, 3 Bronze Stars and a Good Conduct Metal
- He received immunizations for smallpox, typhoid, tetanus and typhus
- His mustering out pay was $300.
- He was listed as 5'11" and 130 pounds.
- He was 22 when he was honorably discharged in 1945.
There is no doubt that my dad's time in the service changed him "for good." It changed him for the better because it opened up avenues of education that set him on the course to becoming a middle class aerospace engineer in California. But he also came back deeply affected by having seen the violence of war. All of it made him who he was, and I am grateful for who he was because he had such a big, positive effect on me. I miss him and wish my kids could have known him for many more years. Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and I invite you to remember and be grateful for those who have served in the armed forces, trying to make the world a better place.