Sunday, May 24, 2009

Manic Monday ~ MEMORIAL

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read it in English, thank a soldier.”

My father wasn’t in the military service – neither was my mother. Somewhere there is probably an uncle who fought during WWII or Korea. I admit that I am not all that informed on the military history of my family.

The person to whom I was closest who did serve his country was my ex-husband – the father of my three sons. He served as a Marine during the Viet Nam conflict. He spent from January 1969 until December 1969 as a foot soldier in that country. At the time, I did not realize how that war would affect my life. In short, he would divorce me (irreconcilable difference caused in part by delayed stress syndrome from his war experiences).

In turn, this really made me stand on my own 2 feet. I was pressed into becoming a more responsible mom for 3 growing boys. OK… this was a start into becoming the responsible adult that I should have been all along (notice, I say START). Looking back, I sure wasn’t the easiest person with whom to live. I was a spoiled, inconsiderate brat at times. I just could never get the hang of looking at life’s bigger picture. To be honest, my life was too focused on ME. Funny how that quickly changed (and still does with age). As with all stories, there is a lot more to this one. And, I am still (always) working on the responsible adult thing.
However, it is Memorial Day and I will make this short.

This year, instead of saying a prayer to thank Don for (a) putting up with me for all those years and (b) for divorcing me, I will post this thank you to him. Hoping that his spirit can rest in peace knowing that no matter what happened between us, I am a better person for it.

Thank you, Don.


  1. oh honey, this made me cry... i hope he can hear you, i know it would mean so much. sarge lives with the same thing, flashbacks and all...

    smiles, bee

  2. How generous you are, carol! Happy Memorial Day!

  3. Isn't it amazing how much we learn from some of the most difficult times in our lives. I have always told the children that I owe their father a great big thank you. Not for being a great husband or father, but for giving me the time to recover from a difficult childhood, start becoming an adult, and getting a divorce when I was almost grown up and able to handle life.

    This is a wonderful post and a tribute to you for becoming you.

  4. I still remember a funny story that dad told me about his time in the military.
    During Vietnam, he was a radio operator, he even improvised a few new antenna designes in the field that are still taught today (a former Marine friend of mine even showed me one of his field manuals with credits to my dad). I guess that is where I got my intrests in Ham Radio from.

    Anyhow, back to the story. He was telling me one day how as a radio operator, with that big antenna coming off his back, he was the first one to be shot at, (Taking out communications was aparently an important objective).
    He was so tired at being shot at, once he returned to the states, he had gone into the Army and became a field medic. It was here that he learned that once the enemy gets tired at shooting at the radio's, their second target was the medics.
    He figured he just couldn't catch a break.

    Loosing my dad on Father's Day was hard. But, knowing what he went thru serving our country, I am glad he was around to BE my dad.
    To my dad, grandfather and Uncles who served... thank you for your time. To my friend Ken who is curently in the deserts of Afganistan, be safe, be strong and I'll see you when you get home.

    To dad, I love you, I miss you and THANK YOU.


  5. I am sure that Don is looking down and smiling while he understands and forgives the difficulties that you had in your marriage.

    Vietnam took a terrible toll on so many young men - not just those who died in those horrible jungles but those who came home and tried to live with memories of things that were too horrible to speak of; things that festered and ate away at them robbing them of parts of their lives and parts of the lives of people who loved them.

    My parents were lucky in that when my Dad came home from his horrible ordeal in Vietnam that they already had a very strong foundation before he went over and they grew together more as a couple. Sadly, that didn't happen for a lot of people - yourself and your ex included.

    Still, good came of the marriage and it helped make you the wonderful person that you are today. It's that whole dark cloud/silver lining thing we like to talk about!

    Thank you to Don for his service and may he rest in peace.


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