To My Father and Those Like Him  

rm_gerson42 52M
1752 posts
5/28/2006 11:13 pm

Last Read:
5/30/2006 12:38 pm

To My Father and Those Like Him

"Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking."
~Sir Walter Scott

Today is Memorial Day. I ask you friends to please remember.

Remember the men and women who fought and served in the armed forces to defend this country and to preserve freedom. Thank those who lived through service or are still serving our country.

I thank them, the families of the fallen and my father.

My father you see, is still alive. Seventy Eight years old, yet still carries the scars of service to his country, both physically and mentally. I have seen shrapnel work its way out of his body. He and I have dealt with the decline of his hearing from loading a few too many mortar shells with too little time to get out of the way. I have listened to his story about how he quit smoking right after a Japanese sniper shot at the cherry of his cigarette with the bullet glancing off his lip. I have watched him go through his war chest, wistfully and often with tears in his eyes, picking up medals and gently putting them back down. Looking at photos, letters, ribbons and bits of other memorabilia.

Once he picked up a crusty looking knife and in answer to my query about it's origin, he replied "I got it from a Japanese Soldier in the war, he didn't need it anymore". This was often the gentle nature of his memories regarding his time of service.

I know little of his service in World War II. Most of what I know is from little bits and pieces gathered here and there in our conversations. Most often, from me wanting to complete the picture a little and asking questions. Although he will talk about that time in his life, he is reserved. Over the last few years he has shared with me a couple of books that help provide a larger picture of his experiences and what they must have been like.

The first is titled Where the Williwaw Blows by Leonard Feinberg. The book details the war in the Aleutians which was fought in 44-45 in some of the worst climatic conditions on earth. In addition to fighting the enemy, any soldier taking part their also fought the weather - the savage wind, rain and fog. The photo to the left is a photo of the living quarters.

The Second is Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley. This book which takes place in early 45 is about the forces who plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima through a hail of machine gun and mortar fire, leaving the beaches strewn with comrades and after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag. The American Flag.

He is a part of these books. Both stories contain pictures in them that when we view them together, he will reflectively point at them and say who this and that figure was, sometimes followed by a "he died later", or something fond about him or perhaps a little story. Always mentioned without emotion, other than a tear or two.

His story, his memories and his time spent as a participant of hell on earth, is the story of many.

Today is Memorial Day. I ask you friends to please remember.

gerson42 - but My friends can call me ger

jadedbabe78 105F

5/28/2006 11:54 pm

I always remember. Of those of the past and of those who serve today. My brother is in the Navy.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:31 am:
a prayer for all those currently serving.

sexymamma662003 31F

5/29/2006 12:12 am

beautiful gerson.
both my grand fathers fought in world war 2. my prayers are going out to all that are serving and have served to keep our country free and for those who have fought and lost there lives for us to live were we are today


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:32 am:
Well said sexymamma.

rm_LoyalCumpany 46M
3204 posts
5/29/2006 12:18 am

Amen for your father, and all those like him.

I am JoJo the Circus Boy!

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:33 am:
Thanks buddy.

Juliet610 51F

5/29/2006 1:00 am


Thank you for sharing your father's story with us today. My grandparents (all four of them) served, and hesitated to talk about what they experienced too. I urge you to ask your father to tell his story to you--or to a tape recorder--before it is lost forever. I know only bits and pieces of my elders' service, and now they're gone, or unable to tell their story. Give your father "permission" to skip over the worst parts, but have him tell the stories of his squadron, a time on leave, or even basic training. These are part of his history, part of OUR history, which should be preserved. Could you tell him "Thank You", and give him a hug from me, the next time you see him, please? He deserves so much more!

Again, thank you for sharing your father's story.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:36 am:
I have talked to him about writing his memoirs during that time. He alludes to standing on the hill while the flag is being posted. That the publicized people and story are only somewhat accurate. He is resistant to tell his part of the story and I just don't have it in me to force it out of him. At the same time, I would really like to know his account. I have emailed this post to him. Thanks Julie,

rm_cru1972 44M
4407 posts
5/29/2006 3:34 am

Thank you for this post, it is people like you that I served with pride for.

Never Forget

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:37 am:
This is your day. You deserve and have earned it.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 11:24 am:
Im gonna come out and say it. I was just re-reading my post and the comments, when I got to your words, they literally brought tears to me eyes. Thanks again.

angelofmercy5 58F
17881 posts
5/29/2006 4:06 am

Ger...thank you for a beautiful post. We ALL need to remember and be thankful. They gave their tomorrow so we could have our today.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:38 am:
Well said.

Seriously_Real 48M

5/29/2006 4:18 am

Yes. And your father is a treasure, as you know. And it is wonderful that you can share it. Thanks.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:39 am:
Just telling his story on his day.

EroticaXTC 49F

5/29/2006 4:27 am

Thank you for sharing this with's a beautiful tribute...I don't think there are many who would dare to undermine the services done to us all by forgetting...I, for one, am grateful.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:40 am:
My pleasure Erotica. I needed to write it.

GermanGirl_000 62F

5/29/2006 4:52 am

I always remember as my son is in the Army.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:41 am:
Please forward my thanks to him, from me.

mycin62 54F

5/29/2006 4:59 am

Ger, thanks for this great post and gentle reminder to remember those who fought for our great country. My father was a veteran of WWII, sadly he has been gone 16 years now, but I will be visiting him at the cemetary today.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:42 am:
Please know that when you are at the cemetary that people around the country are paying tribute to him.

bipolybabe 54F

5/29/2006 6:14 am

It is truly remarkable to risk one's life for a concept. The freedom we enjoy in this country is one of the few things worth that risk.

Thank you for reminding us of that.


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rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:45 am:
What is also of interest to me, is that today you have a choice to serve. It is a decision. Back then, there was no decision. When your number came up, you went. Period. Sometimes I think about what that would have meant for me.


5/29/2006 6:18 am

Ger, great tribute and much respect for all who give us peace here. Have you seen "Before you GO". If you haven't seen it OMG! I was balling! I tried to link it on my blog and it got denied. It is amazing! Love this post and that you have the heart you do! {=}

just a squirrel trying to get a nut

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:47 am:
Thanks for getting the link to me. My father is partly responsible for my heart. I thank him for that.

southrnpeach333 50F

5/29/2006 6:38 am

You have written a wonderful tribute to your father. They will not be forgotten.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:47 am:
Such a small thing to do for such a great act that was given.

TabithaElectra79 37F

5/29/2006 8:25 am

I second southrnpeach333...

We should always remember and never forget, it is unimaginable what has been in the past for us to be today.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 11:30 am:
Well said Tabitha. Thank you for your words.

Loving_Loyal 63F

5/29/2006 10:42 am

Thanks. I do remember what this day is for, what it means to each of us to U.S.... But I have never before thanked my father for his part in my freedom. I Just did thanks to your post. We both cried...

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 11:27 am:
Congratulations, on your first post and for me the second time in as many minutes, you have brought a tear to my eyes. Thank you for sharing that with me and with your father.

saddletrampsk 54F

5/29/2006 12:22 pm

Thanks for the post..war is ugly but freedom is beautiful..I grew up in a military family,living life on military bases in Canada and Europe..many thanks to your dad and others like him for the freedom I treasure and enjoy every day..

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:28 pm:
Yeah, mankind has been doing it down through history. To think we are gonna figure it all out seems sort of like a longshot. We can only hope and do our own individual parts.

LustyTaurus 48M  
21253 posts
5/29/2006 3:15 pm

I lost two Great Uncles in WWII, one was in the Army the other was a pilot. My Grandfather served, but never saw action. There are bits and pieces passed down from different relatives of what happened, but as with your father...they are reserved and hesitant to get into it.

Thanks for sharing the story Ger...Nov 11 is the day we remember our veterans, and is called Remembrance Day...which I honor every year.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:32 pm:
I hope you will remind us all here in the US when the day comes up.

ArtisticTwist75 41F
2505 posts
5/29/2006 3:55 pm

    Quoting rm_cru1972:
    Thank you for this post, it is people like you that I served with pride for.

    Never Forget
Ger - Thanks for this post... I have done one as well about my Grandfather...

Cur - Thank you so much for your service. It truly humbles me that so many would serve for me.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:33 pm:
Will go read it when finished here. I totally agree. Cru's words touched me.

8321 posts
5/29/2006 4:15 pm

I have served and I respect those who have stayed in for their whole career.

That's probably more sacrifice than most can even imagine.

I can't really compare what I went through to what your father, ArtisticTwist's grandfather and others have.

I think that generation had it much worse than we do and appreciate things so much more.

Good post, gerson.


"My every move is a calculated step, to bring me closer to embrace an early death." -Tupac Shakur

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:34 pm:
Gotta say to you, thank you for your service to your country. I frankly don't think we say that to servicemen enough.

RevJoseyWales 69M/66F
14393 posts
5/29/2006 5:40 pm

Beautiful post Ger. Your father would be proud. Thank you for having me stop by. I know every one of us appreciates these type of posts. Thank you again. Joe

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:35 pm:
Thank you Joe, appreciate very much your coming by.

ProtonicMan 47M

5/29/2006 5:59 pm

Peace, ger, to you, your father, and all who have served and sacrificed. May the day come soon when no more will have to die so we may live in harmony.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:35 pm:
Well said TJ, thanks for that.

twirly_girl 47F

5/29/2006 6:50 pm

This was a very nice tribute to your father.
My father was retired Navy and my Uncle died in Vietnam.
Honoring fallen heros and those who survived is something
I think about almost everyday.


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 7:36 pm:
Too many of us share these stories. If only we, as people could change.

rm_gerson42 52M
2419 posts
5/29/2006 7:37 pm

me too....
ger (and thanks)

Smooth_GaL 34F
424 posts
5/29/2006 8:53 pm

Thanks for sharing as it's good to have such an insight and knowing a person in such a way makes one feel very humble by it...



rm_gerson42 replies on 5/29/2006 9:36 pm:
Thats what I use this site for. Sharing, expressing, supporting and keeping myself humble.

Mermaidslut 49F

5/29/2006 11:14 pm

Thanks Ger, for sharing this story. I have no family left to remember or share these days by spending time with them. They never spoke of their experiences to me growing up. Please pass my respect to your Father.

I respect all those fighting today. Continuing to protect our Freedom of Speech, especially. I know in other countries I may already have been stoned to death, this weekend, for what I have expressed on this site alone.

All those whom have served our country in the past, and Today, I Thank You. ((((HUGS))))

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/30/2006 12:15 am:
Thats what it is all about. Respects shall be passed. Your wishes I'm sure are felt by those who deserve them.

(Princess Lips)

5/30/2006 10:44 am

Remembered him and all the others too


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/30/2006 12:38 pm:
Appreciate you coming bye to say so RLP.

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