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Dear Grandfather


My grandfather is dying from Parkinson’s Disease this week. It has taken hold of him and prevents him from swallowing at this point. This is his life according to the military:

Army Air Corps (US Air Force Reserves)

9.14.1942 – After passing examinations at Chanute Field, Illinois he was accepted as Army Air Corps Reservist

2.24.1942 – Called to active service and pilot training – European Theatre of War

3.1945 – Left New York City

3.13.1945 – Shipwrecked in the Atlantic Ocean on the way to the Azores

5.5.1945 – Deopham Green AFB, England and 431st Bomb Group

6.25.1945 – Left Deopham Green and weathered in Glasgow, Scotland

1.27.1945 – Left Scotland

10.23.1945 – Inactive Status

1950 – Active Reserves at Atterberry AFB, Indiana. (renamed Bakalar AFB) – Member of the 71st Sq. 434 T.C. Group

10.28.1962 – Active Duty Cuban Missil Crisis

11.28.1962 – Relieved of Active Duty

9.1964 – Applied for 20 year retirement status. Erroneously told he was 23 days short.

2.1966 0 Signed up for 3 years Active Reserve to help pay for college

5.13.1968 – Active Duty Rickenbacker AFB in Columbus, OH

12.12.1968 – Left for Viet Nam via San Francisco, Tacoma, Anchorage, Attu Island, Guam

1.20.1969 – NTrang, Viet Nam

6.8.1969 – Relieved of Active Duty

5.1970 – Inactive Status

6.13.1981 – Retirement from Air Force Reserves at age 60

His life according to me:

Took his grand daughter up in his plane at age 7 and let her fly it as co-pilot. Many more flying lessons would be had in the next years.

Never let me win a foot race. But he made me faster.

Always was there with a camera and video when his grand daughter was skating. Recorded every skating competition he attended.

Put in a swimming pool when I said I wished we had one.

Fixed my cars on several occasions when they broke down due to my driving like a maniac. He never complained and showed me how to change an alternator.

Always wanted to see me and always had a smile and positive attitude.

Loved my grandmother.

There are many more things… it’s just reflection. He was a great man. Served his country for almost his entire life. Served his family even more. I will always look back and smile. I wish I could tell him these things, but I know he knows. He just can’t hear now.

Goodbye Granddad. You were so good to everyone in your life.

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  1. Robert April 12, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    You can still tell him. Your voice will resonate in his heart. God bless

  2. Sandy April 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    May there be comfort in knowing that someone so special will never be forgotten. My condolences go out to you and your family – Sandy (04/15/10)

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