Monday, March 11, 2013

Dad, me, and dog fence wire.


I love what I do. For eight years now, I haven't had a job, but  a daily joy that just so happens to provide an income. I love meeting people, playing with dogs, and installing hidden dog fences that I know folks will love. I know that I am blessed by God to be self-employed and enjoy so much what I do. I am also blessed by those who have gone before me and paved the way......... which brings me to my Dad, me, and dog fence wire.

A few weeks after Dec. 7th, 1941, (the attack on Pearl Harbor), my Dad received his draft notice. He was in college and permitted to graduate before reporting for army induction. He was a musician and naively expected to be placed in the US Army band and remain stateside. Slim chance, as he was immediately handed an M-1 rifle, trained, and shipped off to France as a 2nd class private in the 101st infantry. At age 21, this kid who had barely begun his life found himself facing the violent end of it on a daily basis. At war's end he would be one of only three men of his original platoon to return home alive.
My Dad was on the front lines involved in fierce battles for small towns as the allies fought to take back Europe from Hitler's war machine. He rarely recounted the war during my childhood but one story he told was of his orders to run communication lines. Upon the allies taking control of a town, communication lines would have to be established between existing positions and the new ones now in allied hands. This would require a single soldier to grab a spool of communication cable and often run across wide open fields and streets to connect lines to the newly taken areas. Although the battle had been won, the town was far from safe. German snipers were often ordered to remain behind to harass the approaching allies and cover for the retreating German army.... snipers just waiting to pick off a lone American infantryman running across a field weighted down by a heavy spool of wire. My Dad was often that guy. He described to me the sound of bullets zipping by his head as he ran, zig-zagging across a field, praying for his life. Soldiers do what they are ordered to do in times of war but it does not diminish the incredible bravery mixed with duty. After the war, my Dad returned home, married my Mom who was waiting for him, and tried to put the awful memories and scenes behind him as best he could in an attempt to live a normal life. At that he did well, making his love for music a lifelong career.

As I work each day, I am often reminded of the bravery and sacrifice of my Dad and his fellow band of brothers of World War II. I think of him as I grab another spool of dog fence wire off the truck to be buried in a yard. Ironically, I now make a living with that spool of wire my Dad so dreaded some 65 years ago. No one orders me to run with it, and there are no snipers who have me in their sites as I go about my business. I am free, blessed, and doing what I love because of those who have gone before. May ours and future generations stand ever ready to do the same. My Dad passed away 7 years ago, but before he was gone I took the last opportunity I had to let him know he was my hero. He just smiled.

My Dad and first dog, "Rubin"

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