Remembering My Favorite Veteran

Monday is Veterans Day, and I want to say THANK YOU to all current and former service men and women for their hard work and sacrifice, to those we have lost for making the ultimate sacrifice, and to all military families for their bravery and patriotism in the face of personal hardship, loneliness and loss. God bless you.

My father was surprised to be drafted to serve in World War II at the age of 31. He and my mother had been married over a year, and they were hoping to get pregnant, but they put those plans on hold until after the war. My dad was very fortunate to come home in one piece and to observe the celebrations that followed the unconditional surrender of Germany.

As you remember the service men and women in your life, you might enjoy looking at some of their old pictures. Here are some of my dad, his fellow Message Center compatriots, and the happy people of France.

Admittedly, these are “good” views of the war and its aftermath. Today’s wars are filmed from every angle, and the news shows every possible atrocity. But I don’t think my dad needed photos of the terrible tragedies that war brought to so many. I think that veterans carry those memories around forever, inside their heads.

CPL John Brown

CPL John Brown, U.S. Army

"Five Message Center men--and good ones, too!"

“Five Message Center men–and good ones, too!”

Poker Session

Poker Session

On the balcony of the American Red Cross Casino Club at Nice, France, October 2, 1945

On the balcony of the American Red Cross Casino Club at Nice, France, October 2, 1945

CPL John R. Brown, U.S. Army

CPL John R. Brown, U.S. Army

Gathering near the Eiffel Tower on V-E Day, May 8, 1945

Gathering near the Eiffel Tower on V-E Day, May 8, 1945

Gathering near L'Arc de Triomphe, V-E Day, May 8, 1945

Gathering near L’Arc de Triomphe, V-E Day, May 8, 1945

v-e-day-near-letoile1

Gathering near L’Etoile on V-E Day, May 8, 1945

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7 thoughts on “Remembering My Favorite Veteran

  1. Jan, this is a lovely post and remarkable photos! They are truly amazing… I love the one of the soldiers all sitting at the table, playing cards! Some of these should be in a museum or book: great quality and they really capture a time and place that is so important! Wonderful that your father got out of that war and came home to have a writer. 😉 I wrote a Veteran’s day post too… from a less personal stand. There is not enough recognition of vets, and this is a wonderful tribute!

    • Thank you very much! I actually spent a lot of time cleaning up the photos–white spots of wear, dust, etc. I do love the intimate glimpses into my father’s experience. He also wrote notes on the back of a couple, which I really treasure.

      Fortunately for my mother, she lived near family during the time he was overseas. I think the loneliness of our warfighters’ families must be almost unbearable. I loved the homecoming videos you posted.

      I pray that future generations will evolve to resolve their differences without such violence and heartbreak.

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