Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dad Didn't Talk

Byron Cornell Jackson, born in 1927, enlisted in the army and was on a troop ship on the way to Japan when the Armistice was signed. He served as a staff sergeant running a military post office in the Army of the Occupation.

That's about all I know.

My dad didn't talk about his military service. He once said, "My generation doesn't want to put on our uniforms and march in parades. We went there, we did what we were supposed to do. There's nothing glorious about it."

I still don't know how my father actually got accepted into the army. He was dyslexic, asthmatic, allergic to numerous things, had suffered pneumonia and lung collapse more than once, and had terrible eyesight. And he may have been underage. It was the end of the war, I guess.

I do know that he went voluntarily, and that it was probably the roughest thing he ever did in his life. He was not a "man's man". He was sickly, rather than tough or athletic. He loved theater, music, and political conversation. But he clearly believed that this was his duty and he made himself do it.

And once he came back, he didn't talk about it. Period.

All kinds of people make the choice to serve in our armed forces. No matter who they are, they are supporting all of us. Even though I don't know much about what my dad experienced, I do know he believed that it was each person's duty to "make a difference" in life.

I offer my thanks today for all veterans who are making a difference-- protecting us and others around the world.


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