War Bonds

My Veterans

dad-at-the-playground

That’s my dad in his airman’s uniform just hanging around in the mid 1950’s, long before I was born.

He joined the Air Force in the waning days of WWll and shook the dust of Luxora, Arkansas, off his feet, returning only briefly before being summoned back to duty by the advent of the Korean War.

I was born at Fairchild Air Force Base and by the time I was 5 had lived on Guam and in California before Dad decided to retire back in Spokane, Washington. I learned to stand at attention and salute the flag before I could walk.

Dad was proud of his two-plus decades of Air Force service. His love of God and country anchored our family and his passing in 1994 left a void in my heart that cannot be filled.

daddy

So, of course I fell in love with a man in uniform!

fly-boy

I met my husband just after he graduated from flight school. He served in the Washington Army National Guard for 23 years– most of our married life. He’s duties took him to Panama and to Honduras, but he loved flying and mentoring other young pilots.

dereks-legion-of-merit

My love for my father and for my husband gave me deep empathy and added insight when I begin to tell the stories of WWll soldiers, sailors, pilots and corpsmen.

I understood duty, courage, leadership and self-sacrifice because I’ve lived with it all my life.

Today I honor my father, Tom Burnett and my husband, Derek Hval.

Of all the veterans I’ve met, these are the two I love the most and their stories have made my own story so much richer.

Happy Veteran’s Day.

War Bonds

Dad

Tom Burnett at Harmond Field

 

 

 

Been thinking about my dad a lot lately.
March is his birth month and death month.
Here he is at Harmon Field in Newfoundland during the waning days of WWll.
He would have loved all the War Bonds hoopla and been at every signing and event. Because of my dad’s military career, I feel completely at ease interviewing veterans– especially WWll vets.
What kind of man was my dad?
He was so warm and kind that the man he shared a room with during his last hospitalization came to his funeral in a wheelchair having just been released from the hospital that day.
He knew my dad for three days and already loved him.

Wasn’t I blessed to have had a dad like that?