My dad and my Uncle are both World War II veterans. As I was growing up my dad never really talked much about the war and his experiences there. In fact, it wasn’t until our son had to do an interview with one of his grandparents and he chose my dad to interview about his time in the Army. You see my dad was severely injured during the war as he stepped on a land mine in the Phillipines and subsequently lost one of his legs. The first news that my grandmother and his fiance (my mom) received was that he was killed. But, the news soon changed and they discovered that he was injured very badly, sent to New Guinea to the hospital and then to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington. I remember my mom telling us that I think she and my grandma both took the train to Washington to see him. Not only did he receive this injury but he also suffered from Malaria and to this day still has some shrapnel in various places. But, you would’ve never known that my dad was an amputee. There was not anything that I can ever recall that my dad couldn’t or wouldn’t do. We rode bikes as kids, he went sled riding with us, swam in our pool and did handstand dives off the board. To this day I am sure that there are many people that have known my dad for the past 60 years and have never realized this about him.
Last year my dad and my uncle applied to be part of a tour that is sponsored by a non-profit organization for veterans to travel to Washington D.C. to see the war memorials. This September both my dad and my uncle (who was in the navy) had the honor and privilege to be part of that group as they headed to our nation’s capital to be honored as the awesome Veterans that they are. They were treated like royalty, as they should be, as they flew from Cleveland to Washington, toured the war memorials, watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, and met other vets that share many of the same experiences. I’m excited to share some of the pictures that my dad sent and would just like to say how proud our family is of him!