Today is #veteransday . My father was a veteran of #WWII. Handsome devil, wasn’t he? He was a paratrooper who jumped over Normandy, Nijmegen, and The Bulge. Dad fought against some “very fine people” (if you get my meaning) He returned from the war with what we now believe was a form of PTSD. He had bad dreams and bad memories for years and never wanted to discuss any aspect of his experience during the war unless he was drunk. He did, however, before he died, write down many of his experiences and I have them and my sister has copies. Dad returned from the war a functional alcoholic. He apparently thought alcohol would dull the bad memories but instead, it amplified the feelings. Dad worked a day job and saved his heavy drinking for the weekends and holidays. Mom and my sisters and I HATED Christmas Eve. We also hated Saturdays – every one of them. We were ok with Christmas Day and Sundays because that’s when Dad would spend the day sobering up. He was verbally and emotionally abusive when he was drunk, but never physically abusive, that I can remember – of we three sisters, I lived with it the longest. There was only one time that I was afraid he was going to hit Mom. So I spent the better part of my growing up worrying that he would hurt Mom. Dad never made use of any VA program to help him, because in all honesty, the VA never thought about PTSD as being a huge issue until Dad was in his 80’s. So, just from my story here, perhaps you can see what a horrible thing war is. It is so easy for those of us who have never fought in a war to bandy about the lives of men and women in the armed services as if we were playing a checkers game or something. For those people who return from any war or conflict, they *are* ultimately changed. If you happen to meet a veteran, please thank him or her for their service, because protecting our country and allowing us the rights we have right now (and that includes the right to kneel or stand), comes at a high price.
6 responses to “Veterans’ Day 11/11/17”
Becky, your dad was a handsome man. It is unfortunate that he and so many others had to live through the horrors of WWII. All wars are horrible. I hope that we can eventually get to a point on human history, when wars are never entered into; but I am not optimistic about that.
Handsome indeed, Rebecca. It’s a sad but not uncommon story. My father was in the Battle of the Bulge and a lifelong alcoholic as a result. He died at 49 and did not live in our house most of my life. War is horrible.
Wow! So very young.
Thanks for sharing your story. We never know what others are going through in life. My daughter suffers from PTSD, only she’s never been to war. Her’s began when three close relatives died in a short span of time: first my mother, then her father-in-law, and finally her 14-month-old niece who died suddenly of diabetes She’s getting medical attention, but there are days my heart breaks for her.
love your work and had a chance this past summer to visit your store in Old Colorado Springs.
Hi Diana – I’m so glad your daughter has access to help for her PTSD. On a slightly different note, I currently live in southeast Texas and do not have a store in Old Colorado Springs. Perhaps there is another Rebecca out there? And thank you for your kind words.
I am sorry home life wasn’t better. I knew a few vets. Most had some problem or other. I went to college with Korean vets, many of which were heavy drinkers. The flyers said that it was almost encouraged.
I was born on Nov. 11. I though all those parades were for me!