Friday, November 10, 2017

A Veterans Day Tribute To My Grandfather

Both of my grandfathers served during World War II but this post will be about my mother's father. As I've mentioned before my mom is currently fighting cancer and because of this she's been going through all her possessions and giving them to members of our family even though she hasn't been given a death sentence from her doctors. One item she pulled out was her father's army uniform so I decided to write about his service.

My grandfather was drafted rather late in the war probably because he was married with two kids at the time. At his civilian job he worked as a crane operator constructing buildings in Chicago (my grandfather's son aka my uncle, also became a crane operator and helped raise the scoreboard for the new White Sox Comiskey Park 2 aka Guaranteed Rate Field.)

My mother wasn't born until years before the war ended so she doesn't know much about his service and now she's the oldest person living on her side of the family so a lot of that stories that she can't remember are lost to history. Because of this we went digging and found some of his army paperwork to fill in some of the particulars. His main job in the Army was well known to all because he was stationed in Los Almos and helped build the structures there as part of the Manhattan Project.

Unfortunately, my mother has no information about his time at Los Alamos, his paperwork said he was discharged in May of 1946. Once out my mother was born in 1952 and by 1963 she was 11 and was probably starting to be curious about her father when he suddenly passed away. (It makes me feel a bit nervous about it because my daughter is currently 11). He died from an aneurysm which he probably would have survived with today's medicine. After his death, my grandmother's mental health kind of took a turn and she didn't much talk about him after that so my mother really couldn't really learn any more about her father.

That's my suggestion for you if you know someone, particularly a relative of yours, that served during wartime ask them about their experience before it's too late. It will only be a few more years before World War 2 leaves living memory and nothing new can be learned from the people that were there. Of course, make sure that they would be comfortable talking to you about their service as some have had bad experiences and do not wish to reopen their wounds. I would have loved to sit down with my grandfather and be able to find out from him about his life but I never had the chance. This veteran's day take the time and ask people you know who served what it was like for them. For everyone who did serve our country, I would like to thank you for your service and sacrifice for our great country.

Happy Veteran's Day

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