The story of my Veteran Papa.
We all know the hectic story of men fighting in wars. It is unimaginable. The fear for both the courageous men and their families!
Men would leave to fight in a war for our independence while families not being guaranteed that their husbands, fathers or brothers would come back.
My own Mejico familia struggled deeply with life in the military. My familias roots are from Mexico. One way or another they made their lives in Los Angeles, California.
During WWII my Papa (Dad’s Dad) fought in the army. I don’t know all the gruesome details as I was not old enough to have had a chance to ask him questions. What I do know is that in combat, he lost his nose. He had to have plastic surgery to create a new nose.
At 8 years old, he was the first person in my life that was torn from me. In my innocent eyes, he was my savior, my hero, my Papa. I remember my family taking him to the hospital, but didn’t exactly know why. In the summers, he would take care of my brother and I. Those days are so clear, remembering riding in his big station wagon with his floor covered with Nyquil bottles.
The connection came later in my teens. He had PTSD. As a society, we unfortunately do not acknowledge the psychological damage war has on our fighters.
My Papa functioned, but he was so scarred from the war that he was a silent alcoholic. I later found out why they would rush him to the hospital. He had become so violent in his drunken states that they would take him to a hospital to be restrained and probably given sedatives.
The story is that once I was born (I was the first grandchild), he promised to stop drinking. And he did. I miss him to this day. I’m so grateful for his bravery of a family man to take care of his family even when I’m sure he was internally suffering. I’m so grateful that he stood up as an American and fought for our independence even though he was a Mexican citizen.
All because he fought in WWII, he was scarred for life. I just want to hug him one more time and tell him that he never suffered alone!
I want to give him one more kiss on the cheek and tell him that he was my hero!
He is an American hero!
Happy Veterans Day to all the men and women who have fought for our independence!
Cheers to my Mejico familia:
**My Papa fought in WWII:
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**My late Uncle who was in the Navy and committed suicide on a Navy boat at the age of 18-19 (Dad’s Brother)
My own Dad fought in the Vietnam War. My Nana (his mother) wrote letters to the President to have my drafted Dad not fight in the actual war because she already had a husband who had PTSD because of WWII and she lost her oldest son (above) while in the Navy. They agreed and sent him to Germany to protect the Nuclear plants:
My grandpa fought in WWII (Mom’s Dad)
My Uncle Art fought in the Vietnam War (Mom’s brother)
My Uncle JR (Mom’s youngest brother) was in the Navy:
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