Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day and a Birthday

Today is Veteran's Day, and it is also my father's 96th birthday. He passed away 41 years ago at the very young age of 54. He is the greatest man I have ever known (and my husband readily accepts that fact). 
MGySgt Jack W. Sherman, USMC
Yes, it's an awful picture--it is a photocopy from the 70's (the photocopy, not the photo) that my father's sister placed in an album she gave us after my father passed away. I would love to have the original; I must get in touch with my cousin to see if he has it. This was from the early days of World War II not long after he enlisted.

And more than 40 years following his passing, he still has a profound influence upon me. He was smart, kind, funny, loving, and was loved and adored by everyone who knew him. His sudden passing created a chasm for many that has never been bridged; most of all for my mother. She was only 38 when he died and she never remarried--in her words, no one could hold a candle to him. And no one has been able to since.

My husband and children never met him. They've heard many stories and accountings from me, my sister, my mother and others. Our oldest son is named after my father, and in many ways, he reminds me so much of him.

I am so very grateful for his service to our country. He served 22 years in the Marine Corps, and he left only because he had to for his health. He tried for years to go back. He served in the Pacific theater in World War II and in Korea. After retirement, he went to work for NASA during the Gemini and Apollo missions, and left just before we landed on the moon--he knew what would happen to the space program once we achieved that goal. He then worked in the nuclear energy field until his death.
The Sherman Family, c. 1968; that's me on the right.
After all these years, I still miss him like crazy, and not a day goes by that I don't think of he and my mother. The morning Mom passed away, we told her it was time to go dancing with Daddy. I like to think that 12 years since her passing, they are still tripping the light fantastic in heaven, and having a ball.

I am also grateful to all of our servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our country. May God bless them, and God bless the United States of America. 

Semper Fi!