Thursday, September 9, 2010

o beautiful, for spacious skies...


last week i received a request from my aunt l. asking for information about my dad's army service in WWII.  you gotta love small town america. she wants the info so that it can be placed in the o'donnell museum.

 For whatever reason, dad never talked about his time in the army, at least not with me. that left me thinking i was not going to be of much help.  enter the pack rat, aka my darling wife, who recalled exactly where his papers have been safely stashed away since his death in 1983. among them was his discharge papers,     WD AGO Form 53-55,  which revealed to me so much that i never knew about his service to our country. He attained the rank of technician fourth grade and was assigned to the 3227th ordnance dept company; his training--automotive mechanic. he entered the army on 1 march, 1941 at ft. bliss in el paso.  he mustered out at bliss on 10 january, 1946.  length of service 4 years 10 months and 9 days of active duty, most of that overseas.  he served in northern france and central europe.  his service earned various ribbons and medals, among them the victory medal.

a piece of paper can reveal very little. contained within that form was none of the nitty-gritty of almost five years in a war zone.  he had his reasons, i'm sure, for not relating anything of his time in service.  left to my imagination, i can understand why.  his service and his discharge was honorable.

the "honor flights" you hear about these days had not made the scene when he passed in '83.  unfortunate,in that they came too late,or he died too soon but had circumstance been different, i would have proudly sponsored a ride for him to the nations capitol in order that he might have seen the tangible evidence of a nation's gratitude for his sacrifice.   

as that cannot be,  it is with great pride that i comply with my aunt l.'s request from a grateful community that has chosen to honor its' hometown heroes.  o'donnell's homage to my dad's service to our country might be on a smaller scale than the granite memorials in d.c., but it is no less sincere and just as deserved. thanks dad, to you and to so many others who have answered our nations call, swearing to protect her in times of war and times of peace,  against all enemies foreign and domestic. aio

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