Veteran’s Day Always Reminds Me of My Dad, a WW2 Vet
I am not typically a very sentimental person, but Veteran’s Day always reminds me of my dad. He was a vet who served in World War 2.
My dad was a pretty easy going guy who thought he was funny. (Sound familiar?) He was born in 1926 which made him 15 when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. That meant he was draft-worthy as a teenager and he ended up being called up by the Army to serve.
My dad, Bob Holliday, ended up serving in Okinawa, Japan as a military police officer after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Being an MP in those days and in that country were the opposite of fun. He was in charge of making sure his fellow soldiers were behaving themselves on foreign soil.
I remember my dad telling the story of how he was flown over to Japan on a troop-carrying plane and he had to face backwards the entire trip. It made him unbelievably sick and, to my knowledge, never flew on a plane after he left the military.
My dad was one of the fortunate ones. He came home alive and married my mom shortly after the war.
I was born relatively late compared to other kids. My dad was 41 and my mom 39 when I arrived. I was an only child so I’m guessing at that late age I was quite a surprise.
My dad passed away after a long battle with cancer in June of 2011. I held his hand as he died. I’ll never forget the moment as he took his last breath and his eyes opened for one last time. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized his eyes were fixed on a picture of his grandkids that was posted on the wall behind me.
As I said, I am not normally a sentimental type and almost never get emotional. But, Veteran’s Day always reminds me of my dad and it causes me to deal with many sad emotions, but it also makes me proud of my dad’s service to the country he helped keep free.