My father fought in WWII after graduating from the Naval Academy. He was an executive officer on Battle Ships. He didn’t talk much about his experiences after retiring with almost 25 years of service. Then he went to work for Good Year Tire and Rubber company in North Chicago as a design engineer. It is likely that the proto-type for the hose through which you pump your automobile gas was designed by my father.
Just before being fully vested for a second retirement Good Year decided to do some “down-sizing” and forced my father out of his job. My parents moved west and bought a smaller home. My mom went to work as a secretary to help make ends meet. The Greatest Generation helped us enjoy peace and prosperity for several decades and then were down-sized.
My father eventually died of a blood born cancer that was caused by nuclear fall out while his ship was at a testing site a few years after WWII. His grave is over 2000 miles from where we live now. I don’t get to put a flag by his gave stone this Memorial Day weekend, but I still pause to ponder his sacrifice for the comfort my family and generation enjoy. I not only thank my father, but all current military and veterans for their service and courage.