A Quote From a Pacific Veteran's Son

SPWaW is a tactical squad-level World War II game on single platoon or up to an entire battalion through Europe and the Pacific (1939 to 1945).

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KG Erwin
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 8:00 am
Location: Cross Lanes WV USA

A Quote From a Pacific Veteran's Son

Post by KG Erwin »

This comes from a post on the Pacific War forum, and it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Had to share it:

"Dad never answered a question directly. Often, he wouldn't answer for many minutes--and sometimes he'd just glare at me and never answer. Other times he'd smile and say, 'That was twenty years ago--I don't remember.' After finding his Japanese flags in the attic in 1959, it took me three years before I could persuade him to talk about them, and even then he never told me where they came from. I discovered the secret only after speaking by phone with one of his old Okinawa pals in 1997, three years after his death.

There were many times throughout the course of dad's life when he'd pretend to disremember his pals names, even when looking at old photographs of them at the kitchen table. But when he was just minutes from death, as he lay semi-comatose, he called the names of several of them as clearly and distinctly as if he had spoken with them only yesterday. My mother died believing that dad actually WAS with his old buddies at the time of his death, and it makes me wonder."

My thanks to "pappy" for posting that.
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azraelck
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:00 am

RE: A Quote From a Pacific Veteran's Son

Post by azraelck »

That's a sad, sad fact from the majority of these heroes. They do not and did not talk about their experiences much. I only recently found out my grandfather was a Paratrooper during Korea. He certainly has never talked much about his experiences, only a little about the training, more about the pranks he pulled, and the most about the weapons he trained with, notably the M1 Garand and Browning Automatic Rifle. Thank you for posting that, Gunny.
"Wait... Holden was a cat. Suddenly it makes sense."
soldier
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 4:58 am

RE: A Quote From a Pacific Veteran's Son

Post by soldier »

My mother is Finnish and comes from a large family that moved to Australia after the War. None of her six brothers and sisters knew anything about what my Grandfather went through during the Continuation war. He kept that side of his life completly private from the next generation and told no one. As a child he appeared to me as a strange and very private old man from another time and place who was often very drunk. Since his death my Grandmother has told my uncle that only seven men from his unit survived the war unhurt, several of his closest friends were killed and he could never forget. He also recieved some of the nations highest medals for bravery but he threw them away after the war saying that he'd done nothing. I really wished he'd kept them.
Needless to say i found a new respect for my late Finnish Grandfather.... He was a hero
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