LHStarAlliance From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1988 times:
Hi guys ,
It's been a long evening today speaking with my mother about my Grandfather (not consanguine) .
This was one of such talks you never forget , so it may bring us to some interesting discussions , I certainly hope so !
My Grandfather , lost his father in the WW1 he died of an injury when he was 8 years , so he decided to go to the military too . He fought in WW2 , in Africa and the Balkan . After the War he went to the Bundeswehr and became Officer . He was also military attaché in Paris at the German embassy .
He was docent at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , and was a big England lover !
He was a men of a very strong character , and of old school manners . Until he was 90 he never failed to one of the veteran meetings , until his dead he never stopped being a men of the military .
There was a very big tragedy in the family specially for him , his son my uncle died of cancer , when he was 90 , his son being , 36 . It imposed me so much to hear that when my uncle was lowered to the grave , my old Grandfather stood up of the roll chair , to a firm position and saluted to his son . You've to imagine what a men of 90 thinks when his so loved son dies , and he still found that force to give this last honor to his son , it impressed me so much ! I get shiver thinking of this situation ...
I see this conduct also in American Veterans .
Is it the military that makes mens to be so ? I admire it so much , this strong character , this force to deal with every situation , always so energetic until dead . It is not like other Professions , where you finish at 65 and then it's over , if you are military you're it for live ! Am I right ?
Wrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1865 times:
Nice story ! Here's mine (I'll leave out the more recent family military history out since this is for the old folks)
Well, my mum's, mum's dad, fought in both WW1 and WW2 in the RAF (and it's army predecessor before the RAF was formed), having lied about his age to get into the army, (I think he was 15 or 16) he served right through untill the late 1950s or 1960s (I believe he did either 40 or 50yrs service in the RAF before retiring) as a medical officer. He reached the rank of wing commander having got a commission at some point, most likely as a Warrent Officer.
Unfortunately I'm not sure how he got to become a medical officer and what jobs he did on the route up (I highly doubt he was a doctor untill he was an officer) because nobody really knows, but he was supposidly a very kind hearted man who loved his family very much and used to have his RAF photos from over the years smartly lined up one after another in his hall-way of his house and had his RAF No1 dress (most formal) uniform with his cap smartly hung up with all his medals in his cuboard.
My mothers, fathers dad, fought in the trenches in WW1 as an infantryman for the entire 4yrs of the war, right up untill a few weeks before when he got injured by a shell and was sent back home.
Unfortunately nobody really knows about his time there as he never really spoke of what he saw again, apparently the few times he spoke about it, he really did tell eye opening stories.
He was very critical war and how his mates were pointlessly killed so some general somewhere could use them as mince-meat. I wish i'd met him, he must have seen so much in his life and would have presented a true view on the worst of war.
The grandfather on my mothers side was, like his wifes father (my RAF great-grandad was my grandads wife's dad), in the RAF as a radio operator / gunner on the bombers (Wellington bombers and later on the Lancasters) and reached the rank of Flight Sergeant before being discharged in 1947.
Ofcourse he flew missions over Germany. I did get to speak to him and he seemed to paint a very balanced view on war, he admited he had no joy in saying he killed civilians in doing his job, but said that losses like that are made in war. He was neither anti, nor pro war and was more than happy to talk about his RAF days.
Now unfortuntaely he had a very long, slow and painful death from cancer, as it took over his body, while Alzheimers took over his mind, so for the last 2yrs of his life, I had to witness this once great man, who I admired so much, be decayed away.
The one thing that came out of this which makes me smile, is that he knew I loved him telling me stories about his RAF days, and a few days before he died, I put up his final RAF photo, in his No.1 dress, with his medals and rank on. Now, the last time I saw him, he pointed to the photo, whisperd 'I never regret it, enjoy life my boy and do me proud, I know you will', with this, he tightend his grip on my hand, smiled and went back to sleep.....24hrs later he was dead.
I don't think I've been so proud yet so sad. I think he knew it was the final good-bye.
The other (on my dads side) was an aircraft engineer, also in the RAF, from just before the end of the war in 1945 to sometime in the 1950s. He's a very smart man and sees his experiance as nothing but positives, but is not pro-war. He has a very good sence of humour and is my last family link to the war and me and him have had many long conversations about his life.
Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter): Is it the military that makes mens to be so ? I admire it so much , this strong character , this force to deal with every situation , always so energetic until dead . It is not like other Professions , where you finish at 65 and then it's over , if you are military you're it for live ! Am I right ?
Yes, it's exactly that, the friends you form in the army are mates for life, and they're nothing like civilian friends. You go through so much, that you simply form a brother like bond. You're in situations where your life is in their hands and visa-versa. There's so much trust, loyalty and honesty that you simply don't get anywhere else.
And yes, you're right, everyone I know who's in the military, is a better person for it and still has traces of military in them, well polished shoes, well ironed shirts, sit up-right, have a respect for authority and are almost always, very humble about themselves.
You see, the thing is, you have nothing to prove to anyone, because you've been there and done that.
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
Cfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1809 times:
Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter): Is it the military that makes mens to be so ? I admire it so much , this strong character , this force to deal with every situation , always so energetic until dead .
I know what you mean - Both my grandfathers fought in WWII and it's simply another level of person.
Is it the military? Partly so, I think - to have "seen the elephant" in such a tremendous conflict can't help but impact you, including the deep encrustation of the idea of cameraderie and loyalty
But more importantly I believe it has something to do with their life experiences before the war. Your grandfather and mine all lived through severe economic and social unrest in the 20s and 30s. That was the time when family and community meant something because it had to - there was no welfare state. That is one of the unintended consequences of all these social programs - most people have stopped caring for each other. It was a time when men where indeed men.
In America, we call those people who were born in the shadow of WWI and then fought the next war "The Greatest Generation". I don't think that those qualities were limited to the U.S. The Depression hit the whole world, but on top of that, you have those that survived Stalin's purges, Weimar and the rise of Hitler, the Sino-Japanese war. All experiences that brought out the worst in some people, but in others brought out the best.
LHStarAlliance From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1735 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3): Although some will disagree - I can tell you, once you've 'been in the shit' with someone, there's a certain brotherhood formed - and it's life long.
Yea ,even if it's your "enemy" before the war he had a good friend in the English Army , the British sent a letter saying "The war has nothing to do with us" - My Grandfather wrote the same thing before the letter of his friend arrived . It shows that there isn't really a hostility between the Men of the Military .
Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 4): Don't forget the women, especially this one. If it wasn't for her, you wouldn't be able to read this. She's Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
Because of being always abroad , in South America or other Countries , I didn't knew my Grandfather very good , but I remember very well how he showed me his helmet of the war , his rifle , his canteen etc . Hear how he crashed 3 times and always survived ,how he did a deal with the Mayor of an city in Greece , he also showed me his medals . In some weeks I'll go again to my Grandmother , ad I'll see all that things again .
Quoting Cfalk (Reply 7): But more importantly I believe it has something to do with their life experiences before the war. Your grandfather and mine all lived through severe economic and social unrest in the 20s and 30s. That was the time when family and community meant something because it had to - there was no welfare state. That is one of the unintended consequences of all these social programs - most people have stopped caring for each other. It was a time when men where indeed men.
Yea how right ! Men where really men in that times ! And they stayed it until dead .
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8): "She was my home, they were my brothers, I feel no annomosity towards Bizmarck and her fine crew. She did her job, and we would have done the same to her."
He thought exactly the same
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8): Constantin, Even though I served in the USAF, I salute your Grandfather.
At the End he saw America as an ally and not as an Enemy , same for England , so if he lived he'd stand on firm position and salute back ...