Veteran's Day 2019
Monday, November 11, 2019
A Happy Veterans/Remembrance Day to all our soldiers out there! I have many friends who are/were in the military it seems. Both my parents are veterans. My mom joined the Air Force in the 1960s after she graduated from nursing college as it was a good stable job. As a woman she was not deployed anywhere, but she had the option to volunteer to go to Vietnam. She nearly did. She really wanted to. Her mom (my grandmother) talked her out of it. Mom said it was the only time she ever listened to her mother! Mom met Dad a year or two after that, so if she had gone to Vietnam, there's a good chance they wouldn't have met and had me. Mom spent most of her time in the military at Andrews Air Force base in Washington, D.C. treating soldiers coming back from Vietnam. When her four years were up, she came back to Los Angeles and worked at the VA hospital in West L.A. She was there for many years, and after I was born, continued to work at a different VA closer to where we lived. She worked on the locked psych unit for years and boy did she have stories to tell. She became an expert in drug addiction as that was mostly what she dealt with at the VA. She used to have to give presentations on the effects of illegal drugs and other research related to that, and she would always practice on me. Needless to say, I never did drugs. She made it to the rank of major in the service.
Dad graduated high school in June of 1953, which is when the Korean War was going on. Rather than getting drafted, he joined the Air Force in August or September of 1953. By the time he was out of boot camp and gotten assigned, the armistice had been signed, so he never saw any action there. He spent his four years in a time of relative peace-- Korea was over and Vietnam was barely starting. He was assigned throughout the Midwest mostly and spent some time in Greenland, but otherwise he was in the U.S. He learned to repair airplanes through the Air Force, and when he was discharged he decided to go to trade school so he could officially be an airplane mechanic. He worked for United Airlines for 39 years and has been retired for many years now (he's 84). He likes to tell me of his time in the military. He liked the food (except the powdered eggs) and I think he liked getting regular meals. He was born during the Depression and there were many lean years when he was a kid. He got to travel to Europe (for holidays) through the military and enjoyed that. When his four years were up, he was put in the Reserves, but he never went to Vietnam. I learned in college that there was a reason for this. The Reservists at the time were kept in home in case the USSR invaded the U.S. Yup, there was a plan for that! So he never saw any action, but he liked being in the military and it really helped him later in life.
Thank you to all our Veterans out there!