This tribute is to my father. I am not posting his name or picture to respect his privacy.
My father never talked about the war, other than to say he "froze up in the war".
As a child I thought that meant that he got frost-bite. I also knew that my father served under General Patton and experienced D-Day, but had no concept of what D-Day was as a child.
My father watched the TV series Combat religiously, and demanded absolute silence.
He would go into a trance and was immovable with a blank stare at the TV screen. If you walked in front of the TV he would enter into a fit of rage searing profusely calling you a "Da_ _ Bast _ _d", and stating "I’m going to wring your bloody neck" and threaten your life.
I hated the show and the way my father acted especially when he was under the influence of that show. My father’s language was coarse and he yelled and swore profusely. I lived in abject terror of my father and his rage which was always very close to the surface, ready to erupt at even the slightest provocation.
I was a teenager when the movie Patton came out.
My father took my brothers to the movie, but indicated that I could not go because "it was not suitable for a girl to witness".
My father took the boys many times to see that movie over and over again. I was glad, I did not have to go, because I knew how my father would become after watching anything to do with the war or combat.
It was not until I was in my 30’s that my father took me upstairs and opened up his trunk and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. It was an official military document that had my father’s name and big words that said "Dishonorably Discharged".
The document also indicated that he had "Conversion Disorder" indicating he was "paralyzed" (from fear) and was hospitalized for over 1 year before being discharged. I do not know the reason he was dishonorably discharged and did not have the nerve to ask my father about it because of my fear of his explosive temper.
It was not until I was in my 50’s that I watched a clip of Patton and hear the foul obscenities that flowed out of General Patton’s mouth and realized that was where my father learned his coarse foul language.
As an adult I became a therapist, and eventually worked with service members who also were deeply and profoundly affected by what they experienced in the war.
As a child, I was unaware of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although it had been well known that the stresses of combat could produce long-lasting psychological effects, it was not until 1980 when the American Psychiatric Association add PTSD to the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) nosologic classification system.
This story is to let the world know that I love my father, have great appreciation, understanding, and compassion for him and now have a vague inkling of hardships he endured in the war.
I am sorry my father and many other service members had to witness such horrors of war that affected their lives in such a profound way.
I am so thankful to live in America with all of its freedoms we have and it is all due to the courage and sacrifices that our past and current service members have given for their country.
Thank you to my father for his sacrifices, thank you to all the past, present and future service members for your selfless giving of yourself and your lives.
God Bless you all, Linda
I’ve included some video clips as follows:
Trailer from the Film Patton
Stories of D-Day
Surviving D-Day – 1.5 Hour Documentary
Comments for Tribute to My Father World War II - D-Day
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