My dad loved his years of service in the Army. He talked of little else if you gave him an ear and a quiet moment. He had a lot of faults and it’s hard not to begrudge him the way he treated us. But truth be told, if he were coming home from fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan now, he would probably be diagnosed with PTSD.
My dad was a Missouri infantryman. He walked the Burma trail, fighting to clear it to be used as a supply line. He and his brothers-at-arms were still on the trail six months after the war ended, and were whisked home, considered somewhat embarrassing.
I went to the WWII Museum in New Orleans four years ago. The lack of mention of the Burma theatre totally floored me. No attention paid whatsoever to the infrantrymen fighting to make safe passage for supplies, who persisted under heavy fire, who quietly came home and tried to resume their lives.
I make no excuses for what my dad became or what he did in later years. But he fought for the country which he loved; and he looked back on that time with sentiment and longing. For that, I can honor him, even though there have been times when instead, I cursed him.
I raise my flag, hold my hand to my brow, and stand at attention in honor of the brave men and women who have fought with the aim of insuring that I remained free. God bless them all.
Memorial Day, 2015
In honor of my father:
Richard Adrian Corley
27 December 1922 – 07 September 1991