Remembering my father on Memorial Day

My Dad served in WWII. 

He found a way to serve, in a way that did not violate his faith at the time. He was a Mormon (then), and therefore had restrictions of conscience upon how he could serve. 

But he found a way. Eventually becoming Master Sergeant of Patton’s motor pool (many stories there), but when the battalion was in motion, he took the most hazardous job in the column: driving a Low-Boy (a drop-center trailer) with a tank on the back. Everybody and his sister waited to kill that transporter, because it meant disabling of that tank. 

There was a Jeep both in front and in back, with soldiers whose job it was to protect that tank. Dad told me a couple stories about everyday encounters, but only hinted at the treachery and violence which was attempted. Suffice to say that reports from Vietnam were the same or even a bit milder. 

Dad was there, all through the invasion of Sicily, Anzio, and finally Italy, serving in a nonviolent role until he was “damn near killed by a bunch of drunk assholes” by being run over with a halftrack in Paris, while trying to get a decent Christmas dinner for his division. 

His back was broken in several places, and these well-meaning but drunk soldiers picked him up and put him in the back of a Jeep, to transport him to the nearest field hospital. 

Dad came home on a hospital ship, and lived the rest of his life with two pieces of steel in his back. That didn’t stop him from meeting Mom, and from loving us two kids in a way that valued our lives. 

I can’t say more than two words: 

Thanks, Dad.

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