a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, May 30, 2016

Okinawa

Iwo Jima, kamikaze, Hiroshima, Nagasaki...all words that fascinated me as a child.  A world I would never see except through Dad's eyes. He rarely told a battle story only the funny ones to me but I overheard conversations when Dad forgot "Little pitchers have big ears."  He only talked with others that had served. I saw the war in his eyes and it haunted me almost as much as it haunted him.

Dad taught me to love Big Band music, told me about "pin up girls" (Dad liked Rita Hayworth) and the pictures his friends carried.  He talked of submarines, ships, planes and amphibious vehicles. He talked of friends and enemies.  Dad talked of Churchill, MacArthur, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and letters from home.  He talked of chocolate, K-rations and how he found a ripe tomato on Okinawa.
Dad talked of islands:  San Clemente, Hawaii, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and others. He spoke of friends, news of their family and how he kept records in his pocket Bible in code.  He spoke of the plants, the heat, how good a lobster tasted over a campfire...all the good that was.

Dad talked of how they were rarely told where they were going or even where they were. Snipers, flame throwers and children with hand grenades were things I overheard.  He served as they asked and as they commanded.  It was what an American did.

Today I honor all who have served.  Those who made it home "okay", those who did not and those still serving. Thank you from the bottom of my heart with my deepest respect.

22 comments:

Jo said...

All honor and thanks to soldiers who fought for their countries. Thanks for sharing this poignant post, Gail. My dad fought in the allied forces in WWII (before I was born) in Europe and North Africa. We also only ever heard the funny stories OR like you, I had big ears as a little girl and heard the very serious side of our soldiers protecting us in faraway countries.

Lee said...

Lest We Forget....

Gorges Smythe said...

Amen.

Sandra said...

I like this photo. Your dad was a really handsome man.. this is perfect to help us REMEMBER those that gave their lives in battle.. millions of them over the years and wars.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, your Dad was handsome. A great tribute to your Dad and for Memorial Day! My father and uncles were veterans of the WWII based in Europe. Happy Memorial Day, enjoy your new week ahead!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad! Thank you for sharing this. Happy Memorial Day.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderful post. Your dad shared with you the stories fitting for little ears. Those other stories you overheard were part of the hidden wounds these men carry. We owe these brave men so much for the freedoms we too often take for granted.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

A perfect post for today. Your Father is truly someone to be proud of, and we shouldn't forget his and so many who showed their dedication to our country and are an example to follow!

Ginny Hartzler said...

I love this glimpse of your dad. How wonderful he was, and how you must miss him! A brave Christian man who served his country and was also a wonderful father. I can just picture you as a child with wide eyes listening to him. His world must have been so new and exciting to a little girl.

Farm Girl said...

This is a wonderful tribute to a great man. I am so glad you shared this today Gail.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

A beautiful tribute to a brave American and his brothers in arms. Lest we forget.

Adam said...

Happy Memorial day

Betsy Adams said...

Beautiful Post...Happy Memorial Day. Let's never forget those men and women who served and gave so much for our FREEDOM.

Hugs,
Betsy

Roses around the door... said...

God Bless x

Inger said...

Thank you to your Dad and thanks to all the others who served and serve now.

LindaG said...

Amen, Gail. I am very thankful for the men and women of your dad's generation.

Hope you all have a blessed week!

Susan Kane said...

What a strong man who held his past, with his present, all together. God bless him and all veterans who came before him.

My father was a bay gunner on a B-29 in 1944-45, which dropped incendiary bombs on Japan. His memories didn't start emerging until the last years.

1st Man said...

What a great post to share memories. Thank you and thanks to your Dad and all the others like him....

gld said...

Great post Gail. My Dad missed serving because of having three small children.

Our neighbor served and told some horror stories of snipers and loosing his best friend because he wasn't wearing his helmet.

War is a horror.

Susan said...

Excellent post.

Karen S. said...

A most lovely Memorial Day post!

Lowcarb team member said...

I'm a little late in reading this post ...
I did enjoy reading about your dad and so nice to see his photo too.

A perfect post Gail

All the best Jan

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