Lef-tenant Fin

I’m not sure if my old coot had become a lef-tenant by the time this pic was taken. I’m not really sure he was ever a lef-tenant but that hat sure looks like something a lef-tenant might wear. Or maybe just a fly-boy.

I posted this pic and a few others yesterday, Memorial Day. I don’t *usually* post pics of my dad that day on social media, at least I haven’t for a while. I sort of understand why other people do. I know many people had to endure the sacrifices of their fathers (mainly fathers but women died in that war too). I am happy that Germany and Japan, etc., did not win the war, in fact I am currently reading a sci-fi/dystopia-type book about the US if Germany/Japan *had* won WWII. I have to admit that I don’t totally understand the book but that’s because I did not live through WWII and am not a history buff in general. But I am working my brain overtime to understand this book. Maybe some further historical excursions will ensue.

I did not lose anyone in WWII. My dad and his brother Don and my Uncle Duke were all in the war. As I’ve heard the story, my grandfather was on the local draft board and got upset about sending other people’s kids to war. My dad was in college and his older brother was in med school. My grandaddy told his boys to get their affairs in order, go downtown and volunteer. And they did. Our fam didn’t know Uncle Duke then. He met up with Radical Betty somewhere out west and became one o’ them thar outlaws. Most outlaws fit in with the Fin Fam though and he was one of them. He joined the service for his own reasons and ended up retiring as an Air Force colonel after service in Viet Nam.

In my old coot’s later years, one of the beach urchins interviewed him for a school prodject and he told her something like, “If you wanted to pick your job, you volunteered.” And he did. He volunteered to be a pilot and that is what he became. He was a very humble man and I never thought about this when I was young but I wonder whether he was a pilot they did not want to lose because for all of the war he was stateside teaching other pilots (not to say that there were not fantastic pilots who flew combat missions). But they were about to send him to fly missions in the South Pacific when our country dropped nuclear bombs on Japan. My old coot did not continue in the service after WWII and after various gyrations, ended up in Sault Ste. Siberia working in the small town banking biz.

While lighting up cocktail lights at the moomincabin last night, a beach urchin found the “yearbook” for one of my dad’s flight training classes. His scores were “very satisfactory”. I do NOT know what “Polish sir” or “Flying Finn” mean. My family is neither Polish or Finnish, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some sneaky Scandihoovian DNA somewhere in me. I think those quotations are the result of a “fraternity” of young men teasing each other. As they do.

So my dad (and uncles Don and Duke) made it through WWII intact and went on to have families and careers and love and lots of laughter. So many soldiers did not. And do not. In every war we have fought before and since WWII. In the US and in countries all over the world When will it ever end YouTube link.

P.S. I see a bit of one of my first cousins once removed (Rey) in that photo of my dad. It’s in the eyes somehow. <3

One Response to “Lef-tenant Fin”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Great post! My family has many military vets but not many of them have been in wars. My grandfather was in France during WWI and that’s it. They served but just missed the wars. (my dad was too young for WWII and couldn’t go to Korea because of his high blood pressure)