May 24, 2020 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
Memorial Day Tribute
Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the USA. It’s a very somber holiday for me. The day is set aside to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while in uniform and service to their country. That’s the formal definition, but I feel it might be extended to those that perish many years later from service-related injuries.
Each year, I dedicate this issue of the newsletter to all those who placed themselves in harm’s way and tendered their lives for the rights and liberties granted to each one of us in the US Constitution. My father is one of those who paid this high price for you and me.
Your image this Memorial Day may be of someone dying on the battlefront, drowning at sea as their ship slips beneath the waves, or plummeting to the ground in a flaming plane. You may imagine a wounded warrior succumbing to his injuries in a battlefield hospital. Yes, all these things happen.
One of my own thoughts on this Memorial Day is of my dad, who was a medic in World War II. It’s troubling to even consider how many soldiers may have died in his arms.
My dad was part of General Bradley’s Second Corps. He landed at Anzio Beach in southern Italy and eventually was captured by the Huns on an October afternoon while giving aid to injured soldiers. He spent the remaining months of the war as a POW in Stalag II-B.
Another image I have is of the many brave warriors, like my dad, who died years later from wounds they received during the war. Many of those wounds were physical but the psychological wounds they endured were no less heartbreaking.
A Deeper Understanding of Dad
This past winter, I engrossed myself in a book-writing project. My youngest daughter had asked me to write about my life growing up. She wanted me to put my adventures and advice on paper so she could read about and learn from my experiences.
I wanted to finish the book in time for her birthday at the end of March. This gave me about four months to complete the project from the time I started on it, the beginning of November.
The first thing I did was to create a master outline of all the stories that needed to be in the book. I quickly discovered it would be impossible to complete the entire book in the four-month time-frame. I determined the project needed to come to life as four separate volumes. Volume one was completed in time for my daughter’s birthday. It’s a handsome hardbound book that I’m pretty proud of.
The Real Story
My children never got to meet their grandfather. My mother, sister, and I had to send him back to Heaven when I was a young man. The only knowledge my kids had of my dad came from photos they’d seen and stories I might have shared.
Dad was in the US Army and fought in the European Theater. While doing the research for the book, I discovered priceless photos, letters, newspaper clippings, and other mementos my mom had saved. These allowed me to reconstruct Dad’s life in exacting detail from just before World War ll until the day he died.
Things I thought for my entire life to be true about what happened to him in the war, I came to discover were false. His heroism on the day he was captured came to life in a handwritten letter from his tentmate to my mom. You can almost smell the gunpowder of the battle as you read Vance's letter.
Once I knew the real facts of my dad’s story, I devoted the first chapter in the book to tell it. My kids will now know who their grandfather was and how World War ll changed him forever.
If you'd like to share an account about a loved one who served in any conflict or even in peacetime, please do so as a comment under my dad's story. I moderate all comments so it may not appear immediately. Be patient and I guarantee you I'll approve your comment and story.
I love you, Dad, and I miss you every day.
You can read about my dad this Memorial Day by CLICKING or TAPPING HERE.
The quiz this week is in memory of all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, especially in the great World War II.
I was unaware of a fact about this conflict you’re about to discover. It will make you pause. Of that, there’s no doubt.
You will get a 100 percent on this quiz, I’m quite certain of it.
CLICK or TAP HERE to discover a fact about the great World War II that should NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
That’s quite enough for today.
I’ll be back in your Inbox in a week, as I’m taking a few days off to reflect on my dad and all that’s really important in life.
Do It Right, Not Over!