A Lifetime

Today is a day to remember those who died in military service. Though my dad survived a tour in Korea and two in Vietnam, his life ended three years ago, the result of bile duct cancer. We all miss his quiet presence in our lives.

My sister, who has been going through the paperwork in our ┬áparents’ house, discovered a stash of documents. They reveal much about my dad, who never talked about his years of service.

This first is a commendation note:



The second, a letter he had to write to the family of one of his soldiers, must have been painful to compose. As I read it, I pictured him struggling with words.


My sister is sending the letter to his family, for those who may not have seen this. I was so grateful to have my dad in my life all the years after his final tour, and I am thinking of Leo’s family, who had to carry on in his absence.