Stories of war bring back memories of Dad

5/30/2014

I spent three nights recently watching the History Channel's "World Wars."

I spent three nights recently watching the History Channel's "World Wars."

It told the story of how WWI started, which led into WWII and how it ended.

It should be required viewing for everyone.

It's a great learning tool for those who might not be aware of all the characters involved and what led to those bloody battles and how they ended.

It is also a great reminder of why veterans should be honored every day, not just on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

The story also hit home with me because my father fought in WWII.

He took a bullet across his chest and earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

My dad, Lloyd Murphy, served in the U.S. Army, fighting in the Philippine Islands in southeast Asia.

My father did not talk much about his military experiences, and unfortunately I lost him when I was 20, so my knowledge of what he went through is sketchy at best.

He never talked in much detail about war. He did tell me and my brother there was a kid he took under his wing who was killed.

He never said, but I know it touched my father deeply.

His brush with greatness, you could call it, was when Gen. George Patton rode by, inspecting the troops.

My son is the age I was when I lost my father; my daughter three years older.

When your kids reach a certain age, you can have adult conversations with them because they are now thinking in more adult terms.

Life forces you to grow up whether you are ready or willing.

I missed out on that part with my dad.

He wrote me every week while I was in college, and we talked on the phone — about baseball, of course.

He saved quarters for me so I would have laundry money.

But we never got to have the talks you have with your dad when you get older and have more serious questions to ask, other than who was better, Ted Williams or Joe Dimaggio?

Dad said Williams.

So Mom kind of became both parents, and we grew really close.

I was reminded of all these things while watching this series on the world wars.

It's hard to imagine what my dad would have been like as a young man serving his country.

My dad was 41 when I was born, a hard life had taken a toll on him, and I'm sure he wondered where the time went. He was gone by the time he was 61.

After the service, he found work as a baker and helped raise a family.

Even though Memorial Day is over and Veterans Day several months away, it's important to remember people like my dad every day.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram

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