Vetrans Day, DAD
Veterans Day, My Dad.
Father was a paratrooper, grenadier WWII.
On D-day his company was dropped behind enemy lines.
He had told me about finding gliders undamaged, full
of men all dead, and not a mark on them.
He was certain it was a poison gas, and caused
close to instantaneousness death. As most were
still strapped in the Gliders.
The US and Germans both denied using gas
He jumped both in Italy and France.
He had a scar right between his eyes.
Occasional a very small piece of shrapnel would
work its way out of his eye orbit years
after the war?
At the time I was maybe six, thought it was
disgusting, told him to throw it away.
The Germans had painted some flat
rocks to look like water, and had them
When the platoon went to get water
all were killed but three.
Dad said he could hear some men
moaning and the Germans would
shoot them, he had a minor wound
between the eyes, shrapnel, but
a lot of blood, so he just played dead,
as the German patrol swept over them.
Two other guys did the same.
He was incorrectly reported as
Killed in action, his mother and
father were heart broken, but
a week later he sent them a post
card telling them he was alive.
It must have been a great celebration.
Dad was back in action in short order.
In Italy the killing had gotten to him,
He would go out on lone patrols,
and come back and report how many
Germans he had shot.
His Co. was skeptical and said they
hadn't see any Germans in days.
So how could he be killing Germans?
Dads reply " I didn't say they were
live, I just said I shot Germans."
He had been shooting dead Germans.
As stress relief, he got a brief furlough.
Now days they probably would have had
him up on charges.
Dad was always modest and quiet,
and sometimes bull headed,
seldom talked about the War,
Once in a While when we were out
fishing on the lake alone.
He didn't like me to ask questions,
I just listened, and remembered.
He was a great shot, on the run
after deer or standing still, and
an excellent tracker.
Very sharp eyes.
That shrapnel was a God send.
Kept his vision and saved his life,
wish I'd kept it.
For all the Troops Past, Present and Future.