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.


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 66 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!

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2 Responses to Melancholy

  1. Thank you for your father’s service, and the sacrifices your family made. My dad served during wartime with seven of his brothers, and they all came back alive. When the last brother returned home, my grandmother died from the massive stress she had been under.
    My dad was 100% service disabled, but he always did the best he could. I cherished him, and was proud of him. I can see that you felt the same way about your dad. My family’s story was told by Bob Dotson in “The Fighting Grossmans”, and I’d like to share it with you: The Fighting Grossmans.

    Watching the many health concerns that plagued my dad and my uncles makes me appreciate what our servicemembers and their families go through. Memorial Day is a poignant day to honor their service.

  2. airforcejim says:

    Not to be a nit-picker ole buddy, but unless you’ve started counting birthdays backwards, your 67 and still older(and not as cute) as me! HA HA caught ya !

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