Greatest Generation Stoicism: My Dad would have been 93 years old today. He passed way too early, at age 65, in 1990. Dad was a WWII veteran of the Pacific where he served on a landing craft as a gunners mate. He was an 18 year old kid just out of high school but was somehow, like all those kids in WWII, instantly turned into a man by virtue of the life and death nature of war. After the war these young men returned home and helped turn our country into a land of prosperity, growth, freedom, and opportunity. They were not a griping, complaining, or excuse making lot. Determined, stoic, work ethic drove them forward.
Dad never spoke to me about any of his war time service other than to suggest I not go into the Navy when I told I was going to join the military. I remember him saying ship life was pretty hard. I took his advice and went into the Army, thanks for that one Dad! Mom shared that on one of his missions he was assigned to a landing craft and was shuttling ammunition from a supply ship to the island. He told her that when it was time for lunch if your team was on the ship you ate aboard the ship and if on the island you at on the island. Dad was on the island eating sea rations with his buddies when they watched the ship blow up and sink. He spent the rest of the day, and the next, searching for survivors and recovering the bodies of the dead shipmates. Like so many of these WWII vets Dad must have had PTSD. In that time the VA had no knowledge of what it was or how to help veterans. The vets themselves developed many fraternal organizations where they had support and camaraderie.
Toledo Police Officer: Dad went on to a career in law enforcement serving as a Toledo Police Officer for over 20 years. He loved to garden, build model airplanes, take his dog with him in the car, and of course watch, and in that time, listen on the portable radio to sports. To say he was a Detroit Tiger fan would be a huge understatement. He loved the Tigers, and baseball in general. We all got the bug. To this day I know my brother and sister and I are loyal Tigers fans as was our mom. Dad left us with so much more than love of sports. We all knew he loved us and his model of toughness was a trait of the men of his time….warriors all.
Happy Birthday Dad: The Tigers should win the World Series this year and I know you are rooting from the upper deck, looking down. We love and miss you much. Thanks for being tough and for that “pomorski sense of humor” that we all somehow ended up with, for better or worse.