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.  


  1. Thanks for sharing about Virginia Spiegel's book. It looks interesting!

    Your dad died pretty young. I understand how you still miss him after all these years. My dad died in 1990, and I still miss him, too.

  2. Oh Leslie, I cried just reading your post tonight! I so understand what you are experiencing. Maybe that is why I can't go through my mother's things - I just don't want to let go any part of her. Hugs and more hugs

  3. I completely understand, Laura. I have done it in "waves". It is a very difficult emotional task. I still have some of that to do with my mother's things and it has been 6 years.
    Sorry to cause tears with the post, but tears come with this territory, don't they? Hugs back to you!

  4. Thanks for sharing such a tender and intimate moment with us. I lost my dad in '74. You are right. Tears come with this territory. The distinguished flying cross is pretty impressive. They did not hand those out for free.

  5. I'm weepy too. These treasures so often get lost and forgotten with time. My husband is a Naval Aviator. His wings and shoulder boards look just same albeit less worn. It cracks me up that your father is wearing his cover all jaunty. You don't see that anymore.

    So happy to hear another good review about blurb!

  6. Dear Leslie,
    What a lovely post about your dear father. How young and handsome and "jaunty" he was, and how much you resemble him!

    Linda Laird

  7. lovely, meaningful post. I can only imagine how close you felt to your father, opening that package...


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