Spent some time today thinking about my dad. Twentyseven year vet, served in WWII and Korea. Retired before 30 because he could see what Viet Nam was going to become.
He was named for an uncle that died in the Argonne Offensive in WWI. One of dad's brothers and another uncle died in WWII, one in Europe, one in the Pacific. Two other brothers served without going overseas. Dad was really upset when I enlisted, and even more so when I volunteered for Nam. However, I think my joining formed the foundation for a friendship that lasted the next 20 years until his death. He was a hard man with high standards, quick to disapprove - but unflinchingly fair. It took something for him to see when he was wrong, but when he was he owned up to it and changed as best he could. It was amazing to see how tender he became with the birth of my children. (And even more amazing how the word "no" completely dropped out of his vocabulary.) It has been 15 years, and I miss him still.
To all who serve or served, thank you. To my Vietnam brothers, welcome home. Dad, thank you. I love and miss you.