Far Guy’s Uncle Archie was the speaker at the Memorial Day Service in Park Rapids Minnesota.
His career spanned 23 years in the United States Air Force. He was a Air Policeman, Personal Clerk, Navigator Bombardier and a Plans and Operations Navigator. He had many Temporary Duty Stations: Spain, England and NATO Countries. He served nine months in Vietnam. He went into the Air Force a Private and retired a Major.
He says “God was my navigator!”
He gave a fine speech.
I won’t share every story he told….but a few.
As a small child he recalls going to the cemeteries on “Decoration Day” with his Mother and flowers she had gathered. (No doubt Lilacs, Iris and Peony as that is what is blooming most years the last Monday in May.)
December 7, 1941. The family had a small Coronado radio that kept them updated on the events of the war. The batteries were as large as the radio. Soon his oldest brother would be working at the B26 Bomber Plant in Omaha Nebraska, another brother was in the Army stationed in Kodiac Alaska, his other brother was his eighth grade teacher.
About his time spent at Bien Hoa AFB in Vietnam…he was never so glad to get out of anyplace in his life. When he returned to San Francisco, he was the only Air Force Soldier, the other soldiers on the plane were Marines and Army that had busses to pick them up. Arch had to go through Customs and the Terminal. Outside on the street he was confronted by college age protesters asking how many babies he killed. He told them when they got a little older they would understand.
When his speech was over he got a standing ovation.
There was a ceremony at the Rusty Bridge Park(Red Bridge) and a wreath was thrown into the waters of the Fish Hook River. I heard the gun salute and Taps being played but I never saw the splash of the wreath landing in the water.
Far Guy said “Years ago it was a large wreath and they threw it off the bridge on Hwy 34.”