Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

My dad, who died in 1991, was a World War II vet, a "male nurse" who stayed behind in England at D-Day waiting for the wounded to be ferried back the next morning. He never really wanted to talk about it much and he returned with only two souvenirs. One was a piece of a buzz bomb that turned out to be just a melted piece of railroad tie that had apparently been HIT by a buzz bomb! The other, probably picked up on base or at a railroad station somewhere, was this naughty little reminder of what they were fighting for. Oh, according to him, he also had a German Luger that he won in a dice game on a train in 1945 but it was confiscated before he could get it home.

Like most who saw the horrors, he hated war after that but always respected the men who went. He always loved a good war movie, too, whether it be John Wayne’s jingoistic GREEN BERETS or Clint Eastwood’s somewhat amoral KELLY’S HEROES. I think SAVING PRIVATE RYAN might have been a bit too much for him had he lived to see it.

My dad also loved PEANUTS and he looked forward to Schulz’s Veterans Day strip every year for the off/on running gag of Snoopy going over to WWII cartoonist/writer Bill Mauldin’s house to "quaff a few root beers." Happy Veteran’s Day, dad! Mauldin and Schulz may be gone now, too, but Snoopy and I will still get together later and quaff a few root beers in your honor. Thanks for everything!

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