Monday, November 11, 2013

Memorial Day 2010, Part 3

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.  

16 comments:

Amy said...

I think it is such a pity that so many people have had their lives shaped by war.
Your Dad sounds like a wonderful father and an incredibly brave man - may he rest in peace. I am certainly grateful for those who fought and sacrificed their lives, Australians are certainly grateful for the American influence and assisstance during the pacific stages of WW2.

Sian said...

He sounds like a wonderful man.

My Dad's ship was in the Pacific.

Karen said...

I'm glad you've taken the time to share these stories and photos with us. Memorial Day is the perfect time for it. You are blessed to have had such a warm and loving relationship with your father.

Julie Shoemaker said...

What a wonderful tribute. Although my father never saw war, many of my cousins were in Vietnam. It changed each of them in very different ways. I too am very grateful that we are still the land of the free...

Lizzie said...

My dad was too young to be in the 2nd World War. My mum was 9 when the war ended, so she has vivid memories of it all. Her father was involved in the equivalent of social work, so he worked in London in the war, helping to support families in trouble - those who were bombed out of their homes, those who lost relatives etc. Mum has stories of bombing raids etc. She is still frightened of fireworks because they sound like bombs.
A friend's father was in Singapore when the Japanese came. His boat had only just arrved and he spent the rest of the war in a camp and building the railway. Apparently he weighed about 6 stone when he came home (and he was a biggish chap). They never ate rice in his home.
It is these stories that make me realise what life was like in the war and the sort of things that people endured.
I now have a good friend who is in the army. He has been posted all over the place - to Northern Ireland during the Troubles, to Afghanistan and Iraq, to other troubled parts of the world also. He's a good man and has a wife and children. I worry for them when he's away and wonder what would happen to him if we had another war.
I am very grateful to those men and women who have served in so many ways during our two World Wars and in the various conflicts since - and to those involved in the continual efforts to keep a relative peace in the world. They deserve our gratitude and respect.

Nancy Y said...

I really enjoyed reading about your Dad Rinda. We try to find out as much as we can about my FIL, but too late to ask. We do know that he was very short when he went in at 18 and was 6' when he returned home, my MIL said it was because they actually feed him in the army! (his family was quite poor) My son - who looks like him - never got to meet him and that makes me very sad.

Ginger said...

beautiful that you have these document Rinda :)

Abi said...

This is beautiful Rinda. I am enjoying catching up with you. My Dad has served in the Air Force and has only just left. It definitely shaped him and us as a family. For good certainly.

Halle said...

I have my dad's Navy discharge papers. The facts contained are interesting to me as well. My dad was lucky and never saw combat.

S said...

I enjoyed this series of posts. How I wished we still had that kind of memento from my Dad's service.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

It's cool that you have that. We've been trying to get DH's dad's WWII army papers so we can get the details of his service. But apparently they were lost in a fire in 1976.

sky-blu-pink said...

Armistice Day here helps us reflect and remember, by weaing a poppy, that our freedom had to be fought for. The sad fact is that there has only been one year since 1945 without conflict, and the future is so uncertain.

sky-blu-pink said...

Wonderful photos! My Grandad was in the Merchant Navy during WWII and my Grandpa designed aeroplanes, including Spitfire, I loved hearing their stories. They both returned safely, thankfully.

Beverly said...

Grateful for all those that served and forever changed by what they experienced. Love that you have all these personal pieces of history.

Karen said...

I've enjoyed rereading these posts. They are such a tribute to a wonderful man and an important holiday.

Miriam said...

This has been a wonderful set of posts Rinda. Thank you.x