So many of us live so well in this country, and it's so easy to forget the women and men that went off to war, usually in places far from their loved ones, in the service of keeping our democracy safe. Some died of their wounds, some came home disabled, and some came home to help their families and communities continue to grow. Everyone who goes to war is changed; you give up a bit of your innocence when you see the horrors of a war.
My father ran MASH hospitals in WWII, in France and England. He was in the Army so long during the war, since medical personnel were so badly needed, that he joined the Reserves when he came home and finished a 20-year stint. The stories he shared with me when I was a child were funny ones; like bathing in a bombed-out asylum in England since it still had running water. As I got older, he told me about things he'd seen that I'd rather not have known. Oddly, my dad was in no way gung-ho about military action; the human side of it bothered him too much. He knew that some wars are inevitable and justified, and others we fight are not. He knew how to choose.
|My father, Bill C., about 1940, in uniform.|