Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tribute to Father Figures

I apparently created something of a sensation this week in Omaha. I was up there on Tuesday for my job, and happened to catch a radio segment on one of the AM news radio stations when the program DJ was interviewing a member of the Korean War Veteran's Association. It was a particularly good interview retrospective on this former vet's memories of Korea, etc. The DJ in question is more a comedian and right-wing political talking head, but occasionally he does some interesting interviews or talks about local Nebraska politics like interviewing the Omaha mayor or what have you. If I am up in Omaha, I will at least tune in to see if he has anything interesting to say.

Well, a few days later, I wrote the DJ a short e-mail, thanking him for having this gentleman on his show. Both my grandfathers and my great uncle were in the Korean war, and so hearing this old guy reminded me some of them, all three of whom are long since dead now. My great uncle in particular came back from Korea and was largely messed up the rest of his life from what we would now recognize as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but nobody really knew much about that when he was still alive, much less how to treat it. "Crazy Uncle Bill" as we called him largely lived out his life as a homeless guy, despite our attempts at helping him.

Apparently on Friday, the DJ read my e-mail on the air. Omaha being close to Offutt Airforce Base, the radio station switchboard lit up with people asking for him to re-post that segment, which he did here. It begins at the 40 minute segment of the clip. Again, I apologize for anything else he says before or after it, as I said, he's a comedian and political talking head entertainer that does other lampooning stuff which isn't pertinent here, but if you have the time, listen in to the 40 to 45 minute segment or so.

I include it today on Father's Day because Uncle Bill, though he never had any kids, basically was a father figure for a short time what he was in Korea to orphans, and it haunted him the rest of his life.

Sometimes fatherhood makes us make sacrifices, even if they are not our own biological kids. Not all fathers are biological fathers, but are just as important in their own ways.

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there, biological or otherwise, that were never thanked.

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