Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Veteran’s Story

During the years of the Korean conflict, Dad served with the occupation forces in Germany, as a lieutenant and payroll officer with the United States Air Force. That's him on the right in this photo -- he would have been about 25 at the time -- while still a sergeant in the Reserves, with three of his five brothers. Uncle Ray, my godfather, is opposite him. Uncle Francis is standing in the middle. Seated is their older brother, Uncle Virgil, the only officer in the group -- and at one point, Francis’ commanding officer.

The story goes, that Uncle Francis was called into Uncle Virgil's office upon reporting for duty. What the young officer told his new charge went something like this: "Look, soldier, everybody on this base is going to find out soon enough that you're my brother. I can treat you like family, and they'll all hate your guts for it, or I can make your life miserable, and you'll get along just fine. So I'll tell you how it's gonna be ..."

It seemed to work out for both of them. Francis and Dad are still with us. Ray and Virgil passed on some years ago.

(H/T to Patricia Alexander Drybala, via Facebook.)

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