For The Vets on Remembrance Day.

Something I wrote a couple of years ago based on true stories I heard or read in the past. I hope you like it.

I remember walking everyday  for four and a half years to  Mrs. Whites post office with a letter for my dad who was serving overseas during World War 2. I was one of nine children, between the ages of six months and eleven years. 

My mother was angry with my father for leaving her to take care of the family all alone. She had to work very hard to keep us fed and clothed in the little home we lived in. We all did our best to do what we could to help, a kindly request for assistance was never questioned by my brothers and sisters. We all did what we could to help, as my mother did all she could to keep the family safe and healthy.

Every week a well dressed soldier would walk up the main street. It was his job to inform the mothers and wives of what soldier had passed away. Everyone would watch out their windows not knowing what door step he would visit. After the visit all the wives would get together to console and assist the unfortunate widow or mother of a fallen soldier.

On one especially cold day, it was time for me to mail the daily letter, on the way I passed the handsome soldier, his eyes fixated straight ahead. I stopped to watch, it was my walkway he turned to. I rushed back home, trembling, crying. It was my dad. I tried to hug my mother but my siblings, most in shock, blocked my way.

My mother looked out the door, pointed towards Mrs. Whites post office and said, " mail the damn letter". Of course I did as fast as I could run. Everyday, I faithfully  mailed a letter to Soldier number 502168. My mother a few years after that fateful day had suffered a nervous breakdown, exhausted and heartbroken from a hard life raising nine children.

We were all a bit more independent so we could contribute more to the daily chores, taking the pressure off my mother. She mostly sat in her winged back chair, her eyes filled with loneliness and despair.

On December 12, 1948, my mother received a letter from a soldier who had fought with my dad as a rear gunner on a bombing raid. The letter said, "It all went well and the target was hit. On the way back a German night fighter  had intercepted the plane. The German gunner killed the pilot and exploded the gas tank in the wing. The order went out to evacuate , but the German night fighter was doing all he could to kill any survivors. Your husband refused to leave his post until the remaining crew could escape to safety keeping the German fighter engaged."

The letter went on, " I do not possess the words to express the deep gratitude I have for the bravery your husband displayed that terrifying night. If it were not for him we would have all vanished. We will always remember and celebrate the bravery of  Rear Gunner Scott McMalley".

Soon after my mother recovered with the understanding of why my father sacrificed his life. She became proud and strong again, showing us wee lads how things got done.

Lest We Forget!
Uploaded 11/11/2012
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