From Military to Civilian Life
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#1 Aug 18, 2012
I remember when my father separated from his years of service, he came home disillusioned. He was asked to retire after obtaining the rank of Major in the Army but I remember him coming in the front door and asking 'What will I do now'? He was angry and let my mother know it and we as kids did not understand. Finding work back then in the 60's was rough for my fathers field of work. He was an Army medic. He did not want to go into the medical field and could only fall back on what his families trade was, a butcher. I think all the years of blood eventually got to him because he went out on disability and never returned to work. All the years of NOT knowing about my fathers military life were kept secret from me. He did suffer from a broken marriage although my mother died from alcoholism in 63 because of the stress of my father life, my mother not being allowed to work (women in those days did not work, stayed home to take care of the children) and eventually this got the best of her.
It was really a shame to see what my parents went through and now I understand so much that was not discussed back then. Wish my father could have talked to me more.
He did tell me a story of when he was guarding German prisoners in a POW camp and German Shepard dogs were used to patrol the grounds. After 'trusting' the prisoners over a period of time, the prisoners were allowed to work with the dogs for morale purposes. One day, one of the dogs went missing only to find the prisoners had eaten one of the dogs and my father went in with a gun and shot up the barracks. My father was relieved of command and returned to the states. My godfather had pull as a Colonel and made sure my father had a clean record but this left a severe impression on my father and I was NEVER allowed to have a dog as a child. This was the only story I ever got out of my father but I remember the depression he suffered in years after he was separated. Returning to the family business was not what he wanted to do but it was the only job available at the time. When he went out on disability and moved to another state, he never talked about the job again but would only brag about his good times as a Major in the military. When he died, he was honored from the mayor of this small town and referred to as 'Major' and this was put on his tombstone. That he was very proud of.
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