My Dad's Name and Being an Air Force Kid (Don't you dare say brat!)

In doing some Internet research for my current revision, I found my dad's name on a memorial brick for Air Force veterans. I was just trying to see if I could find any references to his AF career, so it shocked me to the point of tears to see this memorial instead.

My father loved being in the Air Force. He couldn't wait to get out of his one factory coal town. After he enlisted, he first worked as a ham radio operator, a job he enjoyed. He had a series of assignments that took him (and later us) all over the world and he made friends everywhere.

One of the best parts of my childhood was living on base, McGuire AFB, New Jersey. There's no such thing as being a new kid on an Air Force Base. Everyone's new. The homes were townhomes, arranged as three sides of a square, the open side being a huge playground. After school, we all spilled out onto the field to join the kickball game. I had a best friend on my first day. (I was pretty good at kickball.)

It was the only time we ever lived on base. My dad was a recruiter, and you can't find new recruits on base. My almost three years in New Jersey wiped out the English accent I arrived there with, but moving around so much has mixed up my dialect. Most people ask me if I'm from Canada. I don't know why, but I like that.

My dad grew up in Pennsylvania. He said "crick" instead of "creek." "Pitza" was picked up from local joint, loaded with pepperoni and onions. My mom loved his accent and thought he was funny. They met while they were both on dates with other people. Two months later they were married.

That darn brick. Ah, me.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Love the story! I did not know you were an Air Force...darling! (I didn't say it!) I was always envious of all the traveling you guys did, and the friends you accumulated. You may not have seen it that way always, but I did! I spent my whole youth in a tiny little town in a farm community!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

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Angela said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes and then a great big smile about your parents meeting!

Danette Haworth said...

I just wanted to add that I'm sure that brick was a coincidence, someone with the same name, same military branch, but it took me by surprise.

Kim Harrington said...

Awww, that's sweeet about your parents meeting!

Wild About Words said...

So sweet. From what part of PA was your father? I used to hang out by the "crick," eat "pitza" and wash it down with "wooder." Yeah, good old PA accent; I've nearly obliterated it.

Kim Kasch said...

Check out my blog on Thursday 'cuz I'm giving you an award ;)