Remembering My Father On Father''s Day:
My father left us in January of 1976 at age 60. He has been gone for 41 years but isn't forgotten
What stands out about my dad aside from the fact that he was a loving and a devoted father?
Most important to me is that he never taught my sister and I to be racists. For him, each person was not judged on the basis of gender, skin color, religion, political ideology, sexual orientation etc. Rather a person was to be judged on the basis of their character, talents, and personality. Over the decades I have worked around the world, Being in international business I had to deal with people of many races, religions, etc. Dad's teachings made the difference between success and failure for me in life.
I give equal weight to the fact that my father loved the United States. He believed that it was the only country in the world where one could begin life in abject poverty and go on to great success. Abraham Lincoln was always his hero. Dad joined the Texas National Guard in 1936 at age 21. In 1940, well before the US entered World War II, dad transferred to the regular US Army. Dad's first combat assignment was in 1942 on the island of New Herbides. He fought valiantly against fanatic Japanese soldiers.He caught malaria and the disease haunted him for the rest of his life.
Dad could have used his illness to obtain a medical discharge. Instead he recovered and was sent to General Patton's Third Army. He landed on Normandy Beach 6 days after D-Day. He was the commander of a self-propelled artillery tank. He rode with General Patton across France and into Belgium. He fought valiantly in the Battle of the Bulge where some 80,000-100,000 American soldiers were either killed, wounded or missing. Dad went into Germany. He was with General Patton on the day that Patton walked through a German death camp. (Dad could only talk about this day when he was drunk.) He ended the war in what was then known as Czechoslovakia. His unit met up with Russian soldiers. All of the men from both sides got along famously despite the differences of language and culture.
Dad was discharged from the US Army in 1946. He was 31 years old. At a somewhat advanced age, he started his life over. He married my mother and we two kids came along.
Dad was always a loving and a caring father. He didn't believe in hitting children. He devoted so much time to each of us, He developed emphysema from smoking. The rest of his life was a battle against violent coughing spasms and deep pain. He fought to stay employed so that our family would survive.
Dad you're always remembered with great love and admiration.