Once upon a time…… my Mom & Dad…… both born in TX, were Depression babies…
My Dad grew up on a farm outside a small Texas town with a funny name that didn’t even have a stop sign, and volunteered for duty during WWII as every young man of the time did. He shipped off to Italy, and while attempting to save a wounded friend at a very horrid battle where the Axis had stored some munitions in a church, my Dad’s friend stepped on a land mine.
My father woke up in a military hospital in North Africa with a gaggle of doctors standing over him. One Dr asked, “What’s your name soldier?” To which my father told them his name. All the doctors were surprised, and began talking amongst themselves for a bit. The Dr then asked my father, “What day is it?” My Dad thought, hmmm… I’m obviously wounded, so it’s probably been a couple of days, so he said, “Thursday, the 22nd.” The doctors were absolutely shocked by that response and began a rather heated exchange within their group, then finally the main Dr asked my father, “What month?” To which my father answered, “Oh shit.”
My father had had amnesia for almost a month. He was injured in February, and woke up in March, and had answered correctly because March mirrors February as long as it’s not a leap year.
He was sent stateside to recuperate in San Antonio at Fort Sam Houston.
My mother was from the big city of San Antonio. At 17, because all the men had all gone off and enlisted, went with her two older sisters, lied about her age and the three of them joined the WACs because that was where the boys were.
She met my Dad at a USO dance, while he was an out-patient from an Army psych unit because of the amnesia. So the crazy hick from the country married the Big City girl a month later, and my mother was found out to be a minor, and honorably discharged.
I was a very very late baby. My parents had given up, after my Down’s Syndrome brother died, and my mother suffered a miscarriage. They went to Reno one weekend and had WCMS* and POOF – a daughter.
My mother passed the day after Thanksgiving in 1999, with my father passing six months later from a broken heart.
They were both buried at Riverside National Cemetery with full military honors.
I never received my Condolence letter from President Clinton, and didn’t think to make the call until Bush Jr was in the White House. I told the person who answered the phone that I’d prefer Clinton’s signature since they passed during his Presidency, and was told that it would be the sitting POTUS. I said, “Never mind, I’ll wait.” I knew my parents would have been appalled by a Bush signature.
I waited eight years, and finally put in the request the week Obama took the oath. I told that story to four people since they kept transferring me, “I want you to tell your story to my superior, hang on….” I ended up with several copies for both my Mom & Dad.
I know my parents would be very proud I waited, and would be extremely proud of Obama.