You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you odd.
I sure miss my Dad on days like these.
As much as he lacked in the 'being a good father' section of his life, I will always be grateful for the service he gave to this country during WWII.
Dad was a member of the First Alaskan Scouts and served in the Aleutian Islands during the war. He fought in the only battles that took place on US soil during the war, though he often made the comment that he could not figure out why anyone would have WANTED that particular soil. His division helped build the airfield at Dutch Harbor, fought in the battles of Kiska and Attu and did reconnaissance mop up work all during the war. Dad received a battle field promotion to Sergeant.
He was 19 years old.
My father was badly damaged by his time in combat. He died 4 years ago at the age of 78 and he told me shortly before he died that he still had combat dreams.
However, he was of the generation that did not dwell on those nightmares. He should have gotten help, of course, because it would have helped him in his life and in his relationships with people. But he didn't. He didn't because men at that time didn't and because he had too much to do after the war.
Dad had to complete his education (GO BEARS!) start a family - or two or three, depending on the stories - and get a career going. When he died, he had made and lost several fortunes, met and befriended lots of big wigs and got to watch much of the rotten stuff he had done over the years come home to roost.
But he also got to see me get and stay sober and he got to return to the Eucharist.
Dad was far from perfect but he did the best he could with what he had - my father was both a perpetrator and victim of racism. President-elect Obama would have just given him apoplexy if he had not already been on his way to heaven when the Senator was elected. Quite frankly, I have no doubt he feels lots differently now than he did when he was alive here.
Having grown up with one of those schizoid fathers that was very difficult to love, I find it amusing when people make the statements they make about other people being either totally evil or totally good. My experience has been that this is not true. In fact, I was shocked to discover that my experience lead me to the Truth. The Church has always taught that man is basically good but struggles with sin. No kidding. Some struggle a lot less than others, meaning that many have just thrown in the towel and decided to call their favorite sin 'just being me'. Hey, it's easier to do that than to have to face the fight every day. Trust me, I know. It would be easier on me in many ways to just give into my sarcastic, nasty side and embrace that as 'being me' than to get up every day and ask God to help me be kind and gentle, but straight forward and truthful in my dealing with people.
So, today I salute your memory, Dad. And I salute all the men and women, here and abroad, who have done so much so I can blog and write what I want....without fear of anything except crazy drunk people with access to a telephone.
And that seems to have stopped so....yippeee.....