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#418: In Memory of Dad & Other Veterans

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On November 10th, 1976, I was asleep in my apartment in Chicago, Illinois, warm beneath the blankets against the chill of the fall night. I worked as a member of an in-flight crew for an airline company and was scheduled for a flight at 0600 the next morning.

At 10 minutes before midnight the telephone rang. I expected to it to be the crew scheduler telling me my flight had been changed.

I wasn't prepared to hear my brother-in-law Wayne tell me Mom had called him and my sister to say Dad had been taken to an Orlando, Florida, hospital emergency room with a heart attack.

Worried with the fear we never want to face, I sat waiting nervously for an update. At 1:30 a.m. Wayne called back to tell me Dad didn't make it. He was only 48 years old. I managed to call and alert the crew scheduler to the situation and to request an emergency leave pass. There were no flights to Florida until the next morning so I packed and waited as pain gripped my heart and tears poured down my face.

Until that day I had never suffered the loss of a family member and was numb as I flew to Atlanta then on to Orlando. I remember the politeness and concern shown me by the flight attendants and the sympathy they expressed. And I recall the feeling of emptiness as I endured the long wait for the connecting flight.

Dad had spent 23 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a full lieutenant after serving during World War II and around the world. If he had to die, that he did so on Veteran's Day, November 11th, seemed appropriate.

As we prepare to honor military veterans past and present on Veteran's day, 2010, let's give thanks for their dedication and service to our country and for their honor and selflessness in trying to further the cause of freedom. emoticon

My dad. RIP. We love you and miss you.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an amazing share. And how fitting for sure... this saddens me so.
    3749 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    It does seem a very appropriate date...Such a young man. I agree with JOYATLAST, he would be very proud of you! emoticon

    3762 days ago
    Lou, I felt a kinship with you when I read this the other day - then we had some trouble w/the internet and I wasn't able to comment then. emoticon

    My Dad also was in the Navy - he spent WWII on subs in the Western Pacific, but never wanted to talk about the war, even to Mom. Consequently, I never learned much about his experiences. Nevertheless, the Navy and the military in general has always been very dear to my heart - so much so that I spent 26 years working for the Defense Dept as a civilian. Dad retired two weeks after my wedding....I always teased that he felt he had to wait until he got his 1st two girls married off. emoticon

    Dad passed from time into eternity 15 years ago, and I still miss him. BUT! (and this is a BIGGIE) I KNOW I will see him in Heaven when I get there. Praise the Lord for the assurance.
    3762 days ago
    God Bless You!! Thank you for sharing this. My mom passed on in 2001 at age 63.

    Wendy emoticon
    3763 days ago
    I want to thank you for sharing this with all of us...My dad was in the Navy for 22 years, my brother and son both in for 6..I think, if it weren't for my mom , dad would still be in the Navy...In rememberance of your dad and other today, they have my special "thanks" for all they gave to us....Thank you...hugs, Skye
    3763 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Thanks for sharing your story Lou.

    A family friend of ours was on the ship "California" when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and served in the U.S. Navy for 30 years. He was such a proud Veteran and made such a big impact in my life. He passed away in 2005 and his funeral was held on December 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - almost like had he planned it that way. The following April he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Nothing could have been more appropriate for him.
    3763 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8398992
    Thank you for sharing. It's because of people like your Dad, that we're able to live in freedom today. Although he died very young, he made a difference while he lived.

    3763 days ago
    I lost my Mom when she was only 52, it's hard losing a a parent. Wonderful way to remember your Dad.

    3763 days ago
    We're never ready to lose a parent or other loved one, no matter what age. We honor them by remembering them and telling their story. Thanks for sharing your dad with us and telling us his story!
    3763 days ago
    It's an honor to be able to hear your story Lou. Thank you for sharing your Dad with us today. Bless all the Vets, my husband included.

    3764 days ago
    Lou, what a wonderful tribute to your father, and a great reminder to all of us to remember to honor our Veterans. Thank you.

    3764 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5002230
    He would be so proud of you.
    3764 days ago
    My Dad, is also a Navy Veteran of WW2. He passed away when he was 70. My brother is a Veteran of the Vietnam War. My brother died on Jan.11th of this year at the age of 66. Thanks for sharing your story with us about your Dad. We never stop missing them! emoticon Joy
    3764 days ago
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    3764 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8301081
    So sorry that you lost your daddy at such an early age. That is a pain I know too well. emoticon
    3764 days ago
    Oh, Lou! What a sad thing for you at such a young age! How old were you when he died? I was 16 that year, a junior in high school.

    My husband served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm on the USS John King and the USS Iwo Jima. I am so proud that the high school my husband teaches at honors all the veterans in a celebration at school.

    I am so proud to be your friend. emoticon emoticon
    3764 days ago
    Awesome blog Lou! I lost my Dad to heart disease and diabetes. He was also in the armed forces in WW2. Thank you for honoring all our veterans that have served our country. I'm sorry your Dad had to die so young. This must have been very hard for you and yours.

    3764 days ago
    emoticon You must have been quite young when your dad passed away. I am sending my thoughts to all veterens around the world. My father was forced to work for the German army in WW2 he was trained as a aircraft mechanic. He would try and sabotage the planes when he could.
    My dear departed FIL passed away from a heart attack at age 59, 26 years ago. He was in active duty in Papua New Guinea fighting the Japanese during WW2.

    So here is my respect and gratitude for all those brave men and women who go into active duty to keep us safe no matter where we live.
    3764 days ago
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