Just a sailor. He was just a sailor. My grandfather was just a sailor. He had been lost when his boat went down and was never found. One day I got a ticket to Hawaii with a note telling me to meet a man at the USS Bowfin memorial at a certain time on a certain day. I went.
He strode the deck like a ship’s master, walking with his feet apart as if he were on the reeling deck in a storm at sea. The decking of the USS Bowfin was a shade of gray called by the Navy, Number 27 gray. He wore no uniform, but everything about him said, SAILOR.
I walked in his direction after saluting the flag and requesting permission to come aboard.
He returned my salute and gave me permission to board, “You did that right smartly, boy.”
It was said that high praise from my Grandfather was not easily come by. But, then again, I had never met him before. Neither had my father, his son.READ MORE
“I learned much of it from you, Gramps. The rest the Navy taught me during my short stint.” I paused as I took in the man that was my Gramps whom I had never met. “I got to see pictures of you and hear fantastic stories of you and your heroism. The posthumous medals hung proudly on the mantle of the home of Mom and her husband, my father, the sailor. He bragged on you without reservation. Mom cried ever year on the anniversary of your death. My father just hung the flag in the front yard at half-mast every year and I was forced to live the lie along with them.”COLLAPSE