Tonight I had the high priveledge of hearing first hand the thoughts of a WWII-Korean Vet just returned from an Honor Tour. Although the encounter was brief, I now have a much better understanding of the reasoning behind this endeavor.
Many of these elderly veterans have much to share but it is bottled up within them. Years ago, one told me this,
"I don't talk about my experiences. To do so, I must relive them. And that is too painful/"
While they both lived, my father and an uncle shared a bond which was unique within our family. Both had been through hell on earth in WWII; one on Iwo Jima, the other in the 'Battle of the Bulge'. They would often be seen off to the side talking but would always change the subject when others approached.
But, as Simple posts, if approached correctly old veterans will share their knowledge; at least up to a certain point. It is best for us to understand when this point is reached.
And this applies to younger veterans of other wars and 'police actions'.
This gentleman gave such an interesting account of the unexpected details and thought that went into the trip and how much he appreciated everyone who participated that nothing about his war experience needed said.
He did offer an well convey his observations and opinions of the contrast between the WWII and Vietnam Memorials.
-- Posted by Robert* on Mon, Nov 4, 2013, at 6:46 AM
Maybe I should not bring this up, but think I will.
Did your Dad not lose a brother and you an uncle that you never got to meet in that war?
Probably not a long shot guess but I bet our friend common was not one of those honorable vets mentioned.
The Great Generation, there will not be another generation like them. Everybody worked together for the betterment of our country when duty called they responded and what an outstanding job they did. They knew if you wanted anything for you and your family you had to work hard for it something you do not see today in this country the attitude that so many have today is "What can you do for me today". These brave men and women of WWII it only took them four years to defeat Germany and Japan and today it has taken us nearly 12 years, but back in those days those soldiers were allowed to fight a war and not fight a war with one hand tied behind their backs. We also had outstanding field generals back then as well. Duty, Honor and Country that was the Great Generation.
-- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Mon, Nov 4, 2013, at 11:08 AM
My Uncle Henry died as the result of a farm accident in May of 1941. I suppose the timing of his death could contribute to the misunderstanding.
I recall a story I was told at my dad's funeral. One of the Spoolers told me that when Fred (my dad) came home from the war he had a plan for his future. He had seen the cities and a whole new world. He was moving to St. Louis to work in the Chrysler plant.
But Grandpa August pulled him to the side and told him, 'Son, two of your brothers have died and your brother Joe has started a family and established his own farm. Your mother and I are getting older and you are going to stay with us and take over this farm.
By the time Grandpa and Grandma died, Fred had a wife and the responsibility of three children.
There was no more thought of starting a new life.
In the eighteen years that I lived under his roof and worked beside him every day he never let on that he was doing anything other than that which he wanted to do.
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