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Friday, December 26, 2008

My Father is a Yankee Fan

Despite growing up about 50 miles southwest of Fenway Park, my father is a Yankee fan. (Hmmmmm..... maybe that's why we never went to many Sox games!) He was born in 1918 and missed the 1st Sox Dynasty of 1903-1918. By the time he was a young boy playing sandlot ball, it was Yankees, this and Yankees that, and Babe Ruth hitting 60 HR’s! He played 2B for his high school team and hit about .285. He wanted to keep playing, but his father wouldn’t let him play during his senior year. (Oh, was the coach pissed off!) The Great Depression was still a recent memory, and he was needed to work in the family business, thus ending any potential career in baseball. (The broken leg didn’t help, either.)

But this post isn’t about baseball.

My father served in the Army (Ozark 102nd Division) in WWII in France and Germany. He was a Lieutenant, and was promoted to Captain upon his discharge. He’s not a doctor, but because of his degree, he was the adjunct to the Captain in his medical unit. I recall seeing some of the schwag he brought back from Europe when I was young, including a parachute, a Nazi flag, and maybe even his side arm, but I have no idea what happened to any of that. (I do have his baseball bat, though.) Maybe it was the broken leg that kept him from the front lines, but I can only imagine that he must have seen some horrific injuries serving in a medical unit. He never spoke much about his time in the Army when I was younger, never even suggested that I serve, most likely due to what he witnessed while there. (The draft was over before I was 18.)

A couple of years ago, he finally opened up a bit and started to talk a little bit about his time in the military. I told him that he should write all this down. Well, he finally did start writing, and just recently gave me the book for me to blog it to the rest of the family. I have not read it yet.

While I am very left leaning, I never went to any ant-Viet Nam war protests. I never spit upon or disrespected any of the returning soldiers in any way. I never served in the military, but I never was much into socio-economics and politics when I was a teenager. Hell, for all I know, I may not have even been tall enough to qualify. While I may question the administrations and the policies that put our great (but not perfect) country in war, I harbor no resentment nor disrespect towards the men and women who have been sent there, as well as the ones who are in the military, but have not had to endure that hell.

My band mate and best friend served in The Marines in Viet Nam. He came back OK. My ex-father-in-law served in the Coast Guard in Nam and saw his best friends face blow up in front of him. He’s messed up. I even have Sawxheads ‘friends’ whom I have yet to meet in person who were in the military.

So what is the point of this blog? Respect Veterans. After all that they have been through, they get pitiful health care when they get back here. I see it with my father and my band mate. They fought so that I can write ‘Bush sucks!’ and not have to worry about it. Many of them enlisted before they ever had a clue that they would be sent overseas to fight in misguided war. (I can write that because of them.) Many had absolutely ZERO desire to be there. But they went. Protest the war and bitch at the politicians that send troops there, but respect the men and women who are Veterans, and those who will be Veterans.

1 comment:

Red Sox Sonoma said...

This post was previously published on Fenway West.