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Old 03-17-2019, 07:46 AM   #1
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The greatest generation

Lost my father-in-law this morning. 3 days short of 98 yrs old.
I'm feeling a loss that's a little different than the biological family's, and so it's odd to talk about it with them.

This was a man who has done it all.
Quit school in the 4th grade, because it was time to work the farm. Depression-era Americans made hard decisions.
Earned his bronze star in Operation Dragoon, ww2. Then earned his Purple Heart at the Battle of the Bulge. These were men who were tough as nails.
Had a railroad career, and an oil-rig career, back to back.
Worked DEA undercover in Tucson AZ in the '50's.
Married twice, and raised a dozen kids... including some who weren't his biological offspring.

"Where did all the good men go?"
These were a different sort of men. And as we lose them, we're further than ever from seeing them return. We've become a nation of offended, entitled whiners. We don't make hard decisions, we blame and expect someone else to handle it. We don't do hard things, we whine and look for reality to adjust to our liking.

I'm mourning today. But it's a different kind of grief.

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Old 03-17-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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Sorry for your loss Maytag. Learn the lessons from the greatest generation in your father-in-law and ignore the rest.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:07 AM   #3
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"Where did all the good men go?"
These were a different sort of men. And as we lose them, we're further than ever from seeing them return. We've become a nation of offended, entitled whiners. We don't make hard decisions, we blame and expect someone else to handle it. We don't do hard things, we whine and look for reality to adjust to our liking.
Sorry to hear about your loss. My 94 yr old uncle's health is failing and it won't be long for him. There was a hero from my hometown who recently passed who survived the sinking of the Indianapolis. They truly were the greatest generation and comparing today's "issue" with what these brave men faced in WW2 is offensive to me.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:21 AM   #4
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They truly were the greatest generation and comparing today's "issue" with what these brave men faced in WW2 is offensive to me.
I can't decide if you mean that the comment I made, comparing them, was offensive.
If that's the case, my apologies, as it wasn't intentional. I think we can focus on where we clearly agree.
Thanks for your condolences.

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Old 03-17-2019, 09:53 AM   #5
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I can't decide if you mean that the comment I made, comparing them, was offensive.
If that's the case, my apologies, as it wasn't intentional. I think we can focus on where we clearly agree.
Thanks for your condolences.

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No I was not referring to what you said. I totally agree 100% with you. I'm referring to the current 'hot' debate. Not trying to turn this into a political firestorm, just commenting on the gasbags in DC who are comparing the next 12 yrs to what these brave young men faced in WW2. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:18 AM   #6
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Sorry for your loss Maytag! I have an 88 year old step father, veteran of Korean War, and Vietnam. He is a great man, but he is starting to have terrible memory problems which is said because I wanted him to give advice to my sons!

You have certainly a shared view of that generation! Again many condolenseces.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:47 AM   #7
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Condolences on your loss. That generation was amazing, and he was a part of it. I mourn with you.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:07 AM   #8
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My condolences, Maytag. It sounds like your FIL was a man among men.

Hang in there.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:09 AM   #9
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I also lost my brother last Sunday the 23rd to a lung infection he was 89 and a veteran of the Korean war. My condolences to you and your family.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:12 AM   #10
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Thanks, everyone, for your kind condolences. I wanted to share what I was thinking, and I appreciate that y'all welcomed that.
Also, my own condolences to those of you who have felt this same loss, or who can see it approaching.


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Sorry for your loss Maytag! I have an 88 year old step father, veteran of Korean War, and Vietnam. He is a great man, but he is starting to have terrible memory problems which is said because I wanted him to give advice to my sons!
My wife is his youngest child; he was nearly 50 yrs old when she was born. She and I have taken-on the .... (honor? task? duty? challenge?) business of documenting his life. We have many, many hours of him telling stories with various recording devices rolling. We're transcribing those stories. We've also got his own attempt at writing his memoirs that we're working with. And I'm working on his family history as well. I'm convinced the truth is better than any Hollywood fiction. But the thing that keeps me going on it, is the value I think his story carries for my own children. Like you, Cunningr, I would prefer he had remained around to advise my kids with me. But this will have to do.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:32 AM   #11
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My condolences for your loss. I can empathize.

I was a very late addition to my family (kind of a tradition - youngest son of a youngest son of a youngest son of a youngest son). Anyway the result for me is that the entire generation up from me was part of this greatest generation. Save one, this entire generation of my family -both sides- has expired over the last decade. I think I know what you are feeling. It is not just a personal loss, but a real seam rent in the fabric of our society. These people consistently gave back more than they got, and it was a point of pride to do so. And we all benefitted from this. I miss so much already their ability to serve as role models for my kids, and a benchmark for the rest of us as to what it means to be a good citizen, even a good person.
And while I try, I feel inadequate to take the torch from them. But they didn't flinch when it was their turn, so in that vein, I march forward. By remembering and honoring, we internalize their values and carry them forward, even if diluted. It is all we can do.
Again, my condolences to you. And to all of us.
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