It was Memorial Day yesterday so I went to my Father’s grave. He has a simple head stone “John W. Flint WWII Korea Vietnam”. He was a warrior. He started fighting in 1939 as a mercenary in Finland fighting Russians. In 1940 he joined the US Navy. After the third destroyer was sunk out from under him he wanted to be on a bigger ship. He signed up for “Advanced Fire Control” thinking he would be in a Fire Direction Center on a battleship. Opps, wrong “Advanced Fire Control”. He ended up being launched from a submarine at midnight, rowing a little rubber boat to the beach with a radio and calling fire on Japanese gun positions so the Marines could land more safely. “Advanced” meant he was in advance of any other American landing on the beach. He did three landings that way and figured he had pressed his luck enough and went back to a ship. During the invasion of Okinawa there was a time when the Marines were running out of marines. The Navy called for volunteers to join an “Armed Sailor Battalion”. The sailors in all the ships brigs were volunteered. My father volunteered to lead a platoon. He was involved in some of the heaviest fighting on the island. After the war he sold Jeeps and was a professional gambler in Vegas. He was very good at both but he said it lacked excitement. In 1950 he joined the US Army to go to Korea. He fought up to the Yalu River and back. Finally a mortar round landed in his foxhole and he got evacuated. The Army doctors managed to patch him up to the point where he could refuse discharge (could not get through an airline metal detector though) and he stayed in. Being a bit of a linguist; Chinese, Korean and a little Turkish from working with the Turks in Korea, he started working for the CID (the Army equivalent of NCIS). In 1965 he bribed an orders clerk to send him to Vietnam. He ended up as the First Sergeant of a support element to a Special Forces Group. It took almost a year for the Army to find him to discuss the bribing of the orders clerk. They offered to let him retire. He did. He went on to get his Master’s degree in Anthropology and help wife number three get her doctorate in Archeology. He finished his life as a research assistant for her, an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman and poet.
I hope my head stone can say that much.