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Melancholy

Two or three times a year some of us older folks get a bit tangled up in memories (or memories of memories). Late April and much of May are my primary dates.

Late April because my pop was declared KIA in Korea on April 25, 1951.

Early May because I was discharged on May 9, 1969.

And then there is Memorial Day. The advertisements for sales and off topic events are difficult to avoid.

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I was an Army brat the first few years of my life. I have vague memories (or memories of memories?) of several Army posts; in Georgia, in Arizona, and another place or two. Then my dad was deployed to some place called Korea in 1950.

Three additional memories are a bit more vivid – the day we were notified he was Missing in Action and, sometime later, that his remains had been recovered, and finally, his funeral. I wasn’t allowed to go.

I have a Purple Heart.

He is buried in our home town, and there’s a small memorial in the city park there with his name inscribed. I visit both as often as I can. Even though I was only five or six at the time and will be 67 in about a month I still miss him. I have pictures and memories, and…

I have a Purple Heart.

For many others, like myself, Memorial Day has a face.

As we near the 50 year anniversary of Vietnam there is a wall FULL of my brothers and sisters who earned a Purple Heart

So don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day because…

I have a Purple Heart!

12 Comments

I hear you, Memorial Day is day of mourning for me. I still flinch when I see/hear "Memorial Day Sale", grind my teeth when someone or some business declares "Happy" or "Celebrate" Memorial Day.

Best Regards

Jerry
Thanks as always for the great site....

 
Zero, well written. Jerry. just because you survived, doesn't make you a bad soldier, just stubborn. To the both of you, *Thank you* and *Welcome Home*. 
 
Thanks.
Sometimes it is a good thing for young pups and CONUS folks like me to get a reminder.
 
 I've long been griping about people who make Memorial Day into Veteran's Day and vice versa.

I try to make the point that we veterans have a finite number of Veteran's Days.  Our Memorial Days will be, in a sense, unending.
 
 John, I believe your problem in the first portion of your comment about the interchangeability Memorial Day vs Veteran's Day is simple. You are preaching to the choir.

Because of the nature of politicians want to project powor, we will have the need for both days, sadly. Don't forget, the poliitician have no "skin" in the game.
 
You need some quality dog time, John. They still care and remember,and they don't vote . Let a tail wag away your blues. All of us our age feel the hole in our hearts for our dads. Mine had the misfortune of seeing his eldest grow up into a smart-ass young man. Then, shazamm, I discovered just how wise he was and how deep his love is. But then it's too late... Love ya, Jim
 
Jim - we have 5 dogs... I know how they  are!
 
My dad, too, fought in Korea. He came home - but a lot of him remained on the battlefield. Eventually it got the best of him. I do not like D.C., but whenever I go there, I make pilgrimmages to two places: the Korean and Vitenam memorials. Yes, I get real moody on Memorial Day. Welcome home, Xero, and thank you for your service.
 
Funny thing happened at church, yesterday. An old Navy guy walked up to me, put his arms around me, and said, "welcome home soldier. Thank you for your service." Now, this soldier has been "home" 22 years. Out of nowhere, the tears came, and I stood there and sobbed. So says this infantry/artillery/SF guy. I sometimes officiate funerals for family members of my congregation whose service member relatives have passed. Even as the "officiant", it tears (both uses) to hear Taps sound. Melancholy - yes.
 
 Mike L, as I read your comment, I saw a great deal of courage from both men. There will be a time when you look at being "home for 22 years" in a different light. You may even find that being "home for 22 years can be rougher than your military life. The old Navy guy just may have needed to say, "welcome home" as much as you needed to hear it. Let's put it this way, it was therapy for the both of you. I would dare say his Active Military Service was during 'Nam. Your worst nightmare could not compare with his "homecoming". You were just at the right place at the right time and he wanted to go to his grave knowing that he did the right thing. By the way, Welcome Home, Mike".Thank You, for your service to this Great Nation.

As always,

Grumpy
 
John and SKK, Not to prolong the melancholia, but my dad served and survived Korea. I was home during his passing 16 years ago... Morphine for his cancer. Fortunately we had some lucid moments. Once while I was sitting at the foot of his bed, he said, out of the murk,"We've got to get this plane off the ground!" My mom peeked in and I told her what had just happened, and she gave that Mom and wife of a Lifer grin, and said he was reliving the Korean War. I missed the other episodes. Must have been an important memory to bubble up at that time. John, I've got three dogs, two German shepherds and a Chihuahua!. (four cats too) The GSs are noble dogs, and the little guy is a PITA. Still he is the only one excited to see me when I get home. You gotta take what you get, licks on eyeglasses and all!
 
My landlady, 94 years old at the time, would become sad about the time of the year when one of her sons had crashed in the Channel.

My dad passed away years ago; my sister sends our mom flowers on their wedding anniversary.