This morning, in church, I wanted to say something about Memorial Day during joys and concerns but I didn’t. Wanted to mention how it got started by blacks to honor black soldiers buried in a mass grave. And I wanted to honor my dad, a very brave and gifted Marine. Two bronze stars for bravery in battle, something I know nothing about. And I wanted to mention how, in my lonely efforts to gain CO status in 1968, he told a mutual friend that he had fought in two wars – WW II and Korea — so his son would have the opportunity to go his own path. He never told me, I only found out years later from that mutual friend. I can only imagine the pain and loneliness that went into his alcoholism…and his death through suffocation while lying at the bottom of the basement stairs he had just been pushed down by his wife. I could obviously not speak all of that this morning (or talk about walking across the landmine field in Bosnia and asking my already dead father for help returning to safety – which he did) but I will honor him, Lt. Colonel Jay Vernon Poage, in some way, tomorrow, Memorial Day.
May 25, 2014
Rev. Michael Poage