My Dad was born not in the last century but the century before that. Two years before the turn of the 20th Century. He lived through not only the Depression and World War II but World War I as well.
|Dad at Camp Clark, Missouri before being sent overseas, World War I|
He first served in the National Guard where he was deployed to Mexico in our war against Pancho Villa. He then enlisted in World War I and was sent overseas. Perhaps because of his small stature, he was a messenger and rode an Indian motocycle as he took messages from one unit to another.
He was wounded (for those guys were "easy pickings") but in World War I, there was no Purple Heart and instead he received an engraving with Columbia "knighting" a doughboy and stating that he was wounded in action.
I treasure the engraving. It was a part of my childhood home and when we went through my Mother's Estate it was the one thing I wanted. It hangs with pride at Linderhof.
Dad was part of my life for a short time. I was born late in his and since he wanted children so badly and I was the first born, I was a Princess and could do no wrong. My wish was his command. But, yet, somehow, I grew up to be not that spoiled pampered "darling"!
He was German -- his father immigrating to America in 1885 and his mother having been born here of German immigrant parents. He was proud of his German heritage even though we had fought two wars against them and he made me proud that I, too, was part German. Linderhof is named Linderhof because of that German heritage.
He had a rough life. Mustard gas in France led to lung problems his entire life. He lost an arm just below the elbow in the 20's but that never stopped him. In fact, I was grown and working in a Personnel Office before I realized that he would be considered "handicapped". Neither we nor he ever thought of him that way.
And he died way too young -- at 62. It's been a long time since I've celebrated Father's Day in any other way than putting flowers on his grave.
He was my hero!