Ten years ago I received a surprise package from my stepmother. I tore open the box and literally gasped for air: inside were pieces of memorabilia that I had never seen before.
My father was a Naval Aviator in World War II. I knew about it, but not too much: he never talked about it. Some guys talk a lot about their experiences of the war. Not my father.
Out of the box came a lovely 11x14 hand-tinted portrait of my young father in his navy uniform. Two boxes emerged: The Distinguished Flying Cross and The Air Medal.
inside were his wings and a couple of his ribbons.
I know there are more, but I don't know where they are.
The wool shoulder epaulets are all that remain of his uniform.
Rex J Tucker
I lost my father suddenly in February, 1980. A diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes precipitated his discharge from the navy when he was called up from reserve status for the Korean war.
His death was unexpected and too soon: he was only 58 years old. Next February will mark the 40th anniversary of his death. I always miss him, but I've had a lot of time to get used to his absence. Ten years ago when I opened that box my loss was fresh and painful again. On the eve of Veteran's Day I honor his memory and miss him with a fresh wave of grief.