Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering 2 Vets

I cannot visit either vet today. One is my father, dead for the last 10 years. He was a vet in WWII, a survivor of the European front. He was artillery, and the damage to his hearing was extensive. He spent much of the last 10 years of his life missing so much of what was being said around him, due to his hearing loss. As a result, the human connections he was able to make on the Internet were even more important to him.

In the last several years of his life, I wasn't able to visit as often as I would have liked. He smoked, and my asthma flared up every time I was around him. The last few months, I had a respiratory infection I couldn't shake, and was not able to stand more than a short time in the same room, as the smoke made it hard for me to breathe.

The other vet is my brother. He served in Vietnam, as a radio specialist. Basically, he repaired damaged or non-working radio phones. Although not generally dangerous, it was a vital job in a difficult war. When he returned, like many vets, he found it difficult to find his place in life. He worked, and eventually bought a home, but never married. Later in life, he turned to drink, and is currently staying in a facility to get sober again. He's not able to have contact with family at this point, so none of us can visit. I'm crossing my fingers that he is able to have success with this program, and spend some time with us in SC.

This day is for all the vets, living and dead, healthy and sick. If you know a vet, thank them for their service. If you can, participate in the parades and other activities.

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