Friday, May 20, 2011
Learning About My Father the Warrior
My Dad, like so many soldiers, never really talked much about his experience in the war. I think he was so busy taking care of his family and his job that he didn’t have the time or bandwidth to remember what a life changing event the war had been for him. He very successfully managed to compartmentalize his memories until he retired and became involved with his own band of brothers.
After he retired he got involved with the national Korean War Veterans Association and helped found a chapter in Dallas. Through this veteran’s group and the South Korean government he took me to South Korea on a returning veteran’s trip in 1997. It was an amazing and eye-opening trip in so many ways. It was the first time I really understood how impactful this life event had been for him, it was the first time I saw my father as someone other than just my father, it was a chance for me to see him be a part of something larger than my family.
As my father and I drove back to Waco from Austin we talked, or rather he talked the whole way home. I asked the questions I’ve always wanted to know and he told me about his journey to war and his time at war and for the first time, his feelings about what he had experienced. I drove up to my house feeling fortunate to have spent this day with this man.
As we drove into the driveway of my home I said I thought it was really nice for the Senate to recognize you guys. My dad said, “Yes, they didn’t have to do that, but it sure is nice.” I’ve always been proud to be his son.