Family needs space, too . . .
Personal details found other space on this website. There are images, however, I’ve kept. I’ve kept them because they speak to me.
Dad rarely showed emotion. Dad’s didn’t do that back then. Mothers took care of emotional stuff. Dad did the best he could with who he was. We always had a warm house, clothes, and nutritious meals. Dad was a veteran of WWII. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. A large cedar chest sat in our bedroom. Inside was a plunder of stuff Dad brought back from the war. The cedar chest kept it safe: maps, medals, helmets, books and photos.
As Dad described it, when soldiers marched through the battle fields and bombed villages, they stripped what they could off the dead enemy. Carpet bombing left scattered stuff. Stuff for the old cedar chest. Some of the articles were blood stained. I sold the Nazi stuff to a collector. It represented one of the darkest periods of history.
When I was little, I’d open that big cedar chest and explore all the mysteries inside. Sometimes, Dad was nearby to explain the details. I’d crawl on his lap, often, and ask Dad, tell me some war stories. The meaning of war to a boy were movies and G.I. Joe. Every boy kept a G.I. Joe nearby. For Dad, though, war meant the hardships of boot camp followed by a trip far from family and home to the battlefields in Europe.
His stories always included the Battle of the Bulge. He described it as bitter cold and trudging through ice and snow for endless days. He always recalled his bloody, blistered feet from marching so far without rest. He told me of digging foxholes and trenches for safe cover. When I asked if he had buddies, he always mentioned those blown apart by incoming fire. Those were the times Dad cried. He said the war was where he learned to drink like a man.
So, it’s finally scanned and here for the digital museum.