Monday, November 11, 2019

Missing My Father On Veteran's Day (And Every Day)...

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.