Two Soldiers

Hanging above the fireplace in my den are two portraits. On the left, my grandfather who died before I was born, and on the right my father. Each man is dressed in their Army Fatigues. My grandfather serious faced and standing ramrod straight in his WWI dough Boy flat brimmed hat. My father, smiling with his handsome wicked good looks on display. His picture is just a bust shot in his WWII uniform.

Both portraits were created by the same company and have a raised domed glass covering and carved military insignia along the edges of each frame. My grandfather’s frame is curved at the top with a squared bottom. My father’s curved top and bottom. Different frame styles for different wars?

I don’t know the circumstances of my grandfather’s war experience. Did he enlist, was he drafted, was he married, etc? My father enlisted because he was too old for the draft. He and my mother were married, but I don’t know for how many years when he enlisted. My dad spent most of WWII on Guam in the South Pacific building glider planes from balsa wood and canvas. His doctors believed that the liver cancer that killed him was a result of exposure to whatever was being used as weapons of mass destruction in that war theater. No cancer in his family, least of all liver.

When my grandfather had the stroke that ultimately caused his death during his middle 40s, my father applied for a hardship discharge to help my mother and grandmother take care of him. This request was denied. My mother knew nothing of this request until after his death and we were going through his military paperwork … there is was. She nearly lost it when she read that request.

 

TWO SOLDIERS*

Two soldiers look down from above
Two soldiers serving the land they loved
The one to the left — WWI — my Grandfather
The one to the right — WWII — my Father

Each fought for our freedom in their own way
My grandfather I never knew
My father I miss every day

Annie

Always, I wish each of you joy, peace, and happiness, but most of all I wish you LOVE.

As Ever, Annie

First posted 2/5/13  © 2013 Annie

© 2013 Annie Original Poetry                                                                                                            *Original poem is copyright protected and the sole property of the blog owner.