My father, gone now since 1997 and a relatively young age shouldn’t have been what he became.
He grew up in a totally dysfunctional, broken farming family having a father who turned into a raging alcoholic, beat his wife, stole whatever money he could get his hands on whether it be what his wife or children earned; all this in the depths of the Great Depression. There was a time we were told, when it was all they could do to huddle around the one stove in the house for warmth in the winter.
Finally his wife could take no more took the four children and fled to her father’s house where my father spent the rest of his childhood.
Then came The War, he realizing it would be only a matter of time before he was drafted, he chose to exercise some free will and enlisted in the Marine Corps, who sent him eventually to Saipan & Tinian as a radar operator until Iwo Jima fell and there were no further need to watch for Japanese planes. His story is he spent the rest of the war hauling bombs to the bombers.
Upon discharge, he was the first in the family to get a college education thanks to the GI Bill, got his degree, started working as a low level accountant for the Thai embassy in DC, married my mother, had me, then another son and another, working his way into government service reaching at the end of his career senior level.
He really hated me going to Japan realizing I believe, I would be gone for much longer than planned, but once there he was supportive.
Regrets are that he did not live long enough see me return to The United States for good with my family( I left with just 2 suitcases) and that besides his other 2 grandsons, he was not around to see my son also grow into manhood.
He had his faults; he was quick tempered but at the same time, was equally quick to forget it all as well. He once strayed from the straight and narrow. And despite the hellish, dysfunctional family he grew up in, he and his brother and sisters were extremely close and their own families were stable and nurturing for all of us.
So Happy Father’s Day, Dad.