Well, he’s gone. Cancer ate him up. The final days were awful with so much pain. I was able to be there near the end with a final good bye so there was that. On my last post, I thought long and hard about what you all said. Frame is coming along and I am really struggling to avoid “sprinkling a little alpha on it” mentality as I make newb gains.
The service was really good. I got the local AFB to send an honor guard out to do their ceremony and present the flag “on behalf of a grateful nation” to my Mom. In preparing for this, I found his DD-214. HE FUCKING EARNED THE DFC!! (Distinguished Flying Cross)
He never told anyone. I search frantically and found the citation. He volunteered to fly a Huey gunship in support of downed American Airmen who was able to be rescued. His ship came home with 78 holes in it and not a scratch on him. Reading this was the first time I wept since he died, and not in front of the wife. I then kept it together the next few days and into the memorial service. I talked the honor flight into letting me command it. I am a reserve Major and they were enlisted so I got my way.
Anyway it went really well, but I began weeping silently when they started playing taps. FUCK! She finally saw me weep silently. I just couldn’t hold it back anymore.
So now we are back home across the country and life is supposed to return to normal. I just feel like shit. She is being all nice and sweet and asking me to share my grief with her and the temptation is SO STRONG to do so. But like many have said, I have had my day of grief and now I need to march on. I need to celebrate my SHIT HOT GUNSHIP NVA KILLING Dad with what I do with the rest of my life.
But I really feel like shit. He was a lot of greatness that I never knew about. I think this is a part of what “Alpha” might mean. Doing great things (like saving a fellow American) for the sake of doing them instead of what anyone else thinks, but I would have loved sharing these things with him while he was alive. It turns out that he had 5 other air medals awarded for just being an awesome pilot.
Now he’s gone and I really miss my Dad.