Monday, May 26, 2014

1 Year, 5 Months, 25 Days

The post title is how many years, months and days my father was in the Marines.

He was 17 years, 8 months, and 3 days when he joined the Marines.
His parents had to sign off for him to join.

I'm certain he was more than happy to get out of his house and off to the fight.
In his house, he was out of control because of the alcoholism and abuse of his father and the terrible unhappiness of his mother.
I would imagine he felt he'd be in control of his life somehow if he were carrying a gun.

He looks happy in this picture.
Proud, even.

What's astounding to me, is that 69 years, 4 months and 5 days after my father was honorably discharged from the Marines, our soldiers still suffer untreated from "Shell Shock".  
It is still looked down upon as being weak.  
We did not then, and we do not now---give the soldiers tools for dealing with the hidden wounds of the psyche, the heart, the soul.
It's somehow supposed to be okay to kill other human beings and see unimaginable atrocities and just go back to your 'real' life, unharmed.  
To be unaffected by what your soul has endured.

In our country we put so much emphasis on being on the right side of what God wants.
We're good, "they"(Germans, Japanese, Italians, Koreans, Vietnamese, Russians, Cubans, Iraqis, Iranians....) are "bad".
God loves us and not them.

What I suspect is that God weeps at what we do.  
He weeps at what they do.
All He can do in the aftermath is gather up the souls and comfort them.

I believe in heaven.
I believe that all the broken souls and broken bodies are there.

Today, we honor those that gave their lives for wars fought 
and won 
and lost.
I honor the man who was broken beyond repair.
I honor the man who sought escape.
I honor the man who jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.....
and died.
The war took 46 years, 1 month and 13 days to kill my father.


  1. My father was never the same after WWII. He would never talk about it. My father was a navigator, bombardier in a B-24 and bombed Germany. Imagine how he felt when one day a family from Germany moved in across the street from us and my dad found out he bombed their city. He did mention once that as his plane was being shot at he saw the face of the enemy pilot just before he shot the enemy's plane down. War is horrible and I pray that one day we will have peace and that our government takes better care of those who fought and still fight for our freedom.

    1. My father only once told a war story from his time in the Pacific theater of WWII. He had to kill a women. I simply cannot imagine how men and women ever recover from battle.

  2. You have me crying! Well said, my friend! Well said!


    1. Didn't mean to make you cry. :) I'm just glad I finally understand. I didn't understand as a young adult--before he died. I just thought he was crazy and wanted him to get his act together.