My father had some amazing stories, a lot of which he never told me or anyone else, more specifically about his military career in Vietnam. I suppose it was his ability to adapt that kept him alive during the war and after he returned home; and now that he is gone, I am learning just how amazing his ability to adapt really was… from 185 consecutive night ambush missions across the Cambodian border, to fathering a family in the middle of Kansas, he could adjust well to anything.
Later in his life he started speaking publically about his career. He was very good at reaching people and wanted to share is appreciation for the younger vets returning home.
The day of my parents funeral I received phone calls from several different men who had served with my father; men I hadn’t met and that did not know each other. They said, with tears, there were some stories about my father that i hadn’t heard before. Amazing stories that they wanted to tell me in person. I look forward to hearing them.
Here is a story of my father taken from the local paper in 2006. Nearly 40 years later he is still reaching people.
And so, as I sit here on Veterans Day, trying to describe my father I find irony, being unable to realize, until he was dead, that he was a living folk legend.
Thank you, Dad.