On this Memorial Day, I pay tribute to the three men close to me who served in the military during World War II and the Korean War. All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to men who have served honorably in the armed forces. I owe an additional debt of gratitude to these men: my Daddy, my Uncle Jerry Adcock, and to my father-in-law, Wesley Notgrass. I had a unique and special bond with each one. Each of them loved me deeply and each of them made that abundantly clear to me in many ways. I am so grateful for the role each played in my life.
My precious and greatly missed daddy was in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. When Uncle Sam invited Daddy to volunteer for the draft, he complied. I praise God that an Army dentist discovered that he needed extensive dental work. I know only two details about that dental work.
Dentist(s) pulled all of Daddy’s teeth so he wore dentures all my life. He loved to tease children by showing them to us.
For some reason that I don’t know, that dental work prevented Daddy from having to fight in Korea, which is why I am so grateful to God for Daddy’s false teeth.
Daddy was honorably discharged in late November 1953, just in time for his baby girl, Eva Charlene, to be born on December 2.
My Uncle Jerry was deployed to Korea where he served in the frightful job of air traffic controller, landing American planes in the dark on dangerous airstrips in Korea.
A decade or so before Uncle Sam asked Daddy to volunteer for the draft, he asked Ray’s dad to do so. Japan had not yet attacked Pearl Harbor, so Ray’s dad, Wesley Notgrass, had the assurance that it would be a one-year stint. Pearl Harbor changed that. It was instead, as Ray’s dad often told us, four years, one month, and seven days before he received his honorable discharge. He came home with a Bronze Star for meritorious service.
Happy Memorial Day, Mamas.
Pay to all what is due them:
tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom;
respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.