Today is Veteran’s Day here in the US. My father served in the Army. My grandfather served in the Army AirForce and later the Army. He was a POW in WWII.
There’s a lot I could say about my Dad. He enlisted in the Army and served out his term, just barely missing getting called to fight in Vietnam. If he’d had more time left, he probably would have been sent. I’m not really sure how he didn’t get called up, but I am eternally grateful that he didn’t.
My grandfather fought in World War II. The plane he was in was shot down over the Ploesti oil fields in Romania, where he was captured and held as a Prisoner of War. Somewhere, I have scanned copies of the journal he kept then. And some day, I will go back and read them again. It’s been at least fifteen years – and probably more – since I read what he had to say. Maybe I’ll even type it up some day.
And some day, maybe I’ll tell more of his story, from his own words as he was debriefed. From his own words in his diary. And maybe some from other writings about him. Ploesti was such a small skirmish there’s not a lot to be found out there. I only wish I’d interviewed him and the other POWs I met long ago. I wish I’d gotten their stories down.
Most of them are gone now and it’s too late. What little I do have I will cherish, and pass down to my son who is named for his grandfather.
Veterans, today I thank you. For your service and your sacrifice for our country. I salute you.