My Dad

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he passed 5 years years ago at 92. He grew up in NYC during the depression and had a very hard life. He came back from WWII disabled from shrapnel. I interviewed him once, to make a record of his life for my kids. We mostly discussed WWII and what he did and saw there. I am very proud of him and respectful for what his generation did for us. I worry sometime we're forgeting
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McQ

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Randy, this is a very nice post and you have every right to feel proud of your dad. I also worry some about the passage of time clouding the memory of these incredible people. My dad was a WWII vet (and Korea) as well and I do try to make sure people recall the sacrifices that those boys made in the theaters of war. Yes, the women, too, because they suffered and sacrificed and got even less recognition for their parts. People at home sacrificed more than we today would likely tolerate as well.

I'm sure he was as proud of you as you were of him. Your love and admiration are obvious.
 

Butlerkid

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Thanks for posting! This is a poignant salute to your dad! I agree that it appears that much of our history is not being passed to future generations. However, each war had its soldiers- many of whom were not welcomed back home with respect and appreciation. I celebrate all who have served, and their families.
 
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I had to talk him to the interview. The 'women' left us alone at his place for about 2 hours and I setup a tripod and video camera and we recorded it. I mostly asked questions to keep it going. We started when he was a boy and talked for 2 hours non stop. Probably none of us reading this can even imagine life in NYC during the depression as he described it...….I have still not watched it
 
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Same here. Dad was a doctor in the British Army during WW2 and beyond, mum was nurse in London. Neither said much, if anything about the war. Dad owned and read dozens of WW2 history books, but never touched on his own time there.
 
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Butlerkid

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We watched the movie Midway a few months ago. While perhaps not 100% historically accurate, at least it keeps this history alive for generations that have no idea what happened - or why!
 
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My dad fought in the Pacific (New Guinea, Phillipines). Two bronze stars. Never a word from him about that time. My uncle Bob landed on Omaha Beach. Fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Was one of the ten percent or so who made the D-Day landing and survived the war. One silver star, one bronze star. Never a word from him either until one evening in southern Missouri. We were visiting (from Houston where we lived at the time). I was 15. We went frog gigging and after a meal of fried frogs' legs, the ritual of the men congregating in the kitchen to drink, smoke and bs began. For the first time I was allowed to stay with the "menfolk". I was even allowed a little bourbon. Uncle Bob got stinking drunk and for the first (and last) time I heard some tales, some genuine war stories. To this day I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have been allowed into the circle and to hear those stories.

My dad died before the movie Saving Private Ryan came out but Uncle Bob lived long enough to see it. When one of his sons asked him about the movie he said it captured the noise and the chaos of the landing pretty well but all the actors were too old. Most of the men who fought in WW2 were teens or in their early twenties.

Thanks for sharing this story, Randy. The stories of that extraordinary generation are rapidly passing from living memory.
 
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My Grandfather was at Pearl (my mother lived through bullets flying through the house) and never talked much about it. But I know he was one of those that dove on the Arizona trying to cut through the hull to get people out.

My uncle said he got him to talk about it a little, they were watching Victory at Sea. They had footage of the Yorktown going down at Midway and he motioned to the screen and wondered if he was one particular guy diving off the back.
 
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Are we taking social media for granted and not using face-to-face exchanges?
That depends on the person. My wife and I refuse to use social media.

A long time ago a pundit explained that social media brings our distant relationships closer to us and pushes our close relationships further away. Bingo! That was when I realized that social media was doing exactly the opposite that I wanted in my life. That was despite that I had no social media accounts (and still don't).

Everything about social media isn't bad and everything about close personal relationships isn't good. But on balance, I'll take the close personal relationships any and every day over social media.
 
Because of particular skills and knowledge, my father worked in a war plant during World War II, but my uncle actually went overseas and was there for some of the major battles..... like many others, when he came home, he just never talked about it. If it were brought up, he quickly changed the subject. That war and his participation in it left a devastating, lasting impression on him for the rest of his life. He was just unable and unwilling to in any way even attempt to verbalize, find the words to describe and relive what he had experienced. Much of it must have been just unfathomable to him....

Veterans coming home from Korea and later from Vietnam and later "conflicts" or wars also often cannot express their feelings about or describe the situations they saw and heard, too; those of us who have not had to personally experience the horrors of war at a visceral level can never really understand what some of these men and women vets have gone through......
 
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That is wonderful project, Randy!
I'm sure it was a valuable experience for both of you. I do hope you find the strength to revisit your recording again.

My father was 20 in 1940 and in the army during the Blitzkreig (All men had to do a one year service in the army).
Later he escaped the forced labour program, was caught anyway and sent to a Straflager and even to a concentration camp later on.
He and some others escaped after the bombing of Dresden and succeeded to catch up with the allied forces liberating Germany.
He was a rather tall man for his generation, just over 1.80m and weighed 80Kg before the war. When he reached the allied forces, he weighed 48 Kg after those camps.
He did recuperate and regained his weight but the worry (fear) for going hungry never went away.
I always felt my father was a rather closed man but now I realised he told us more about his experiences in the occupation than some men.
Also about his teenage years during the depression, come to think of it. I suppose I'm lucky and he was not so closed after all.

... I worry sometime we're forgetting
I don't worry anymore. I'm sure that is already the case: look at the success rate of the populist parties all around the world.
Some of our 'politicians' even dress in a style that Hitler and his inner circle wore.

he passed 5 years years ago at 92. He grew up in NYC during the depression and had a very hard life. He came back from WWII disabled from shrapnel. I interviewed him once, to make a record of his life for my kids. We mostly discussed WWII and what he did and saw there. I am very proud of him and respectful for what his generation did for us. I worry sometime we're forgetingView attachment 1653004
 
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I share your concern, Randy. My father, too, served during WWII, leaving home as an eighteen old farm boy, and returning 3 years later.

You were wise to collect your father’s memories. As with most other veterans, my father never talked about his military experiences, and by the time I tried to solicit his memories, dementia had taken its toll with the exception of one instance.

Immediately after the war ended, my father said that American troops were taking over German citizens’ homes in order to house the American soldiers. He had a blank look on his face and sadness in his voice as he recalled a German lady who was a piano teacher being put on the street with her children and her piano, having to fend for themselves.
 
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