A Star in the Window
On my daily ride up to Charlottesville for breakfast this morning I( was behind a white pickup truck from one of the local farms. During the nearly 10 mile ride I noticed that there was a “Blue Star” decal in the back window.
For those who don’t know a Blue Star image represents a family that has someone serving in the military. A Gold Star tells all that someone there died for their country.
My paternal grandmother was a three star mother with all of her sons serving during World War II. She had been a two-star sister in World War I who watched two younger brothers march of to fight the war to end all wars in France.
My father was in the Navy while his two brothers were in the Army. One of my uncles served 44 months overseas in the Southwest Pacific. He wanted to join on December 8, 1941 but so did millions of other guys and they sent him home for a month or two.
The oldest brother served in North Africa, Sicily and Italy mostly in battalion intelligence-gathering. Apparently, he interrogated prisoners-of-war. No one ever explained how he did it without speaking either Italian or Germans.
My father, the youngest of the three, joined the Navy in 1943 volunteering for the draft. My grandmother had gotten him a defense job at Westinghouse making radios.But eventually people pointing him out on the subway got to him and he went down to the draft board and asked to be drafted. He served in the Atlantic and the Pacific nearly getting killed in the process.
As I was driving along I began to wonder how that mother mentally coped with a child in harm’s way. I’m sure that my widowed grandmother hardly slept a wink from Pearl Harbor Day until VJ day for worry. As telegrams arrived all around here announcing the deaths of neighborhood men, she probably wondered when hers would appear. It never did and her sons and daughter buried her many years later.
I think that we forget how stressful wars are to those who sit and wait at home while loved ones go off to fight for their country. Wounded warriors are not just confined to those who fight but also for those who wait at home.