“On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan bombed Hawaii, and the U.S. declared war on Japan. So after that, the draft was for six months after the war ended. In February 1942, they lowered to age to 20 years, which caught me.
“In March 1942, I went to see a draft board member and asked him whether to start a crop. He said he saw no reason not to, and if they did, to just ask for time to get my crop in.
“On July 25, 1942, I got my notice to be examined on Aug. 12. I went to the draft board and asked for a two month delay and was refused. The draft board chairman said, ‘You will be getting $50 a month. You can hire someone to do it for you.’
“On Aug. 12, 1942, I was examined, passed and was sworn in the U.S. Army the same day. This was done in Roanoke, Virginia.”
“My birthday present on July 1, 1944 was going under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California and seeing the U.S.A. the last time for one and a half years.”
--from my father’s writings
|My father and his mother.|
My father served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was a medic. He served from 1942 until 1945.
In 1942, he left behind his farming, his family and his life in rural Central Virginia to answer the call from Uncle Sam.
He saw parts of the country and the world that he would never have visited otherwise. He saw horror and pain. He made lifelong friends. He came home and was forever grateful for being able to come home.
Today on Veterans Day, we honor all veterans. We take a day to thank those who served their country.
There will be programs and ceremonies to formally honor veterans. I’ll attend one in my town.
But I also remember my father’s service. He has been gone for many years, but I still have his words, his memories, his thoughts about his time in the Army. I hold them dear.