Here's a picture of my mother and father from a few years ago when my dad was about 82. He died last year just before his 90th birthday (peacefully, at home, with my mother there):

My dad worked for the US federal government in various capacities for 38 years, from 1941 until 1979. He told me many times the story of hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the radio, and how he and his friends went right down and signed up (out of self-interest in part, since they sort of knewwhat was coming). He also told me many times that of all the houses in his neighborhood in DC with more than 1 son in the armed forces in WWII, his was the only one where all the sons came home - and he felt very lucky about that.

He was a Marine and in the Army Air Corps (my understanding was things were more fluid in those days), assigned for a while to be a ball turret gunner in a B17 until they basically stopped using them in the Pacific. He was in Okinawa at the spearhead of the proposed invasion force being assembled for the Japanese home islands where they were told to expect a casualty rate around 80%+ for the first few waves of the invasion (one very personal reason I am not sorry the war stopped when it did or why, although I'm generally pretty anti-nuke). He also served in the occupation, and smuggled penicillin to the daughter of a Japanese man he met when he was there - probably treason at the time to steal from the US medical supplies and give to the Japanese, but the little girl survived. (He never told us this story - until we got a letter at home about 20 years ago from a that little girl - now a woman in Japan - wondering if he was the right person.)

He spent many years back in the US working at a couple of government jobs that can best be described as "[REDACTED]" before ending his career with FEMA in the late 70s. (If I told you whether he told me whether they had FEMA reeducation camps then I'd have to kill you - but then, if they really existed you'd know better than to ask that question, wouldn't you?)


Although he worked a bit for my uncle's business and other smaller jobs to keep busy in the 80s and early 90s, for most of my childhood he was a retired dad that stayed at home with me and my brother. He passed on his love of cars to both of us. Dad was always positive and an optimist, and I like to think he passed that on to me as well.

He is very much missed, but had a great and long life.

Happy Veterans Day!