In Service

Dad was raised on a farm with 3 older sisters and 1 younger sister. All four of his sisters went to Meredith College and became teachers. Everything dad ever wanted to do was anchored to the farm and plants. He was in ROTC in high school and throughout college at NCSU so that it could help pay for his tuition. He majored in Agronomy of course!
When he got out of college, he had to fulfill his obligation to the military and was in service for a couple of years. He was stationed in Georgia at Fort Benning. He attended a local church and met my mom there. Poor man didn’t stand a chance, lol. They dated and when he left Fort Benning, they were married and mom went with him. She was born and bred a city girl in a family with money. She lived in a household with a cook and a maid. And married this poor farm boy from NC, was she in for a surprise! Dad got out of the army and went to work for Cargill as a seed salesman and working on the farm. Within a year of marriage, I came along. My grandparents gave mom and dad an acre beside their house to build their own home. They still live in that house to this day!
Recently dad has told me that he feels ashamed to be honored for his service in the military, because he did not fight in a war. The Korean war was winding down when he was enlisted. I tried to tell him that it was no fault of his that he didn’t go overseas and see any action, but that I was glad that he did not. About a year ago, when my parents were still able to drive to church, the church had a military appreciation day. When they asked for each branch of the service to stand up, dad proudly stood and sang along. Later he told me that he had such mixed feelings about his military claim.
I have his uniforms and helmet from the army. He gave it to my son and I packed it away in my cedar chest. Last Christmas, my son put on the dress jacket and wore it into the living room for dad to see. He was quite pleased and spent about 30 minutes telling us about some of the people that he had met and some of the things that they had done in the army. I cherish the stories that he tells of long ago and he so enjoys the telling of them.


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