Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks Veterans

I had two Uncle Bob's. Everyone should have at least one at some time.

The oldest Uncle Bob was in World War II, I think. My aunt met him while she worked on a base. I would guess she was in the accounting offices or something, but that could be complete crap. She might of been working on planes for all I know.

By the time I came along and could really remember them from visit to visit they lived in a condo in another state. He was this guy who bought  doughnuts in the morning, knew all the best places to eat out because he was a health inspector and would spoil us rotten by letting us go into a toy store and pick out anything we wanted.

He was also the first time I was around someone who had a heart attack. The kids were eating on the balcony and there was a commotion where the grown ups were. My calm and collected aunt was worried and yelling at her precious poodle. We grabbed the dog and kept it's nervous self out of the fray as my mom and cousins husband gave Uncle Bob CPR. He made it through. Mom and the husband saved his life. Hero's of another sort.

He passed away many years later. He smoked a pipe. He had red hair. Red heads, they're everywhere.

My other Uncle Bob  was from my fathers side. He had a big barrel chest and a bald spot. He was quiet and kept to himself. He liked to go fishing and camping.

I didn't find out until I was much older that he was badly wounded in Korea. They had to redo his gastric piping, as it was put to me. I don't know what that entailed but it gave him a lifetime of trouble afterwards. He never said a thing about it. I had to get it third hand. Only once did he say he was injured and that's why he didn't like hospitals. He wouldn't say anything else beyond that. I didn't find out he served in Korea until I was in my 20's from his brother.

He died on my birthday two years ago. He didn't want a service, he just wanted to be put in the ground. Thank god my cousins had a grave side service and a gathering after wards. I hope he understands it was for us, not him. I can't remember what was said. It was sunny. I cried with my big assed sunglasses on. They gave me a bit of privacy so I could look at others. One of the attending marines had to lower his head to hide his eyes with his hat. My niece told me later that he went to school with her. She was standing across from him. That's heart when some guy you just kind of know is moved by your emotion.

I heard a high school friend was injured during training. I don't know what kind of training it was. What I heard was it some sort of accident with a grenade. One side of his body was burned along with his arm and hand. He saved someone another life when he did whatever it was he had to do.

He was a bass player. I wondered how that would affect him. He still plays. :)

My father-in-law was a reservist. He got a marks man medal. He gave the boys some of his stuff and I still wonder how in the hell a guy who is 6'5" could have possibly worn a hat that was too tight on a nine year old. No wonder it was still in good shape, heh.

My dad was in the navy. They wanted him to be an electrician. He didn't like it, got shocked a few time too many. He went to his commander and said "Hey, I'm going to get killed because I'm not good at this. I'm a musician." He was reassigned to the Navy band.

He told me how he played for Queen Elizabeth, she was sitting near enough for him to clearly see. He told a story about being on a dock in Italy trying to haul his bass from one place to another. I get a feeling that a lot of his stories weren't always fit to tell a little one so I didn't hear most of them. He had a film taken on a deck of a ship. It's a lot of going up and down with the a grey sea on the horizon.

Thank you to all the veterans. I know you come in all shapes and sizes and backgrounds. I know your not all perfect, don't always feel like a hero or brave. Your doing a job that needs doing. That's what counts. Again, thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment