This past Sunday in our church, the veterans were all asked to come down to the front by "class" of service. It was so touching to see veterans of WWII come forward, followed by Korean conflict and so on. As I watched these brave men and women go forward, tears came to my eys, especially as I thought about my dad, who is now in heaven. The congregation gave these men and women a standing ovation, and I wanted to give my dad a standing ovation on this day of rememberance.
Daddy joined the Air Force when he was 18 years old. All three of his older brothers had served in WWII in the Navy. He knew he would be drafted, so he made his choice to join the Air Force. He did his basic training in San Antonio. While he was in Wyoming, he came home on Christmas leave and married my mom on Dec. 26, 1951. Then they returned to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and shortly afterwards, went up to Anchorage, Alaska. Quite impressive for a Mississippi country boy.
One of the best stories I remember my dad telling (or at least my mom told about my dad) was that one time when they were all standing at attention, Daddy's Sergeant was cursing at the men. Daddy told him that he needed to stop cursing. The Sergeant proceeded to curse at Daddy even louder. Daddy very calmly stepped forward and punched him in the jaw and knocked him out. Daddy didn't like cussing.
Daddy was a very kind, compassionate and gentle man, but he was extraordinarily strong. His brother used to tell how Daddy would put a 100 lb bag of feed on the mule and sling one over his shoulder and lead the mule. He told me he was always envious of how strong Daddy was.
I was always very proud of my dad. He always did his duty and took his responsibilities seriously.