It doesn’t take a special day for me to remember our veterans, but on this Veterans Day, I would like to remember my father who lost his life during WWII. I vaguely remember his face; after all, I was very young when his B-17 went down at Davis-Montham A.F.B. in Tucson, Arizona. It was called the Army Air Corps at the time and he was carrying atomic bomb components destined for Japan when his plane’s tail section fell off. His name was Captain Walter Wigley and I remember the crash and explosion that followed. I also remember my mother and twin brother crying. At the time, I wasn’t sure why they were crying, only that it was expected…so I cried too.
My mother always made sure we were on hand when Dad was leaving on a mission. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned what the missions were and their significance in the surrender of Japan. To this day, his records are sealed.
It wasn’t long afterward that my mother married my dad’s best friend and we moved to California. My step dad was a Navy veteran and right up to his death of cancer in 1980, I could have not loved him more. He was the only dad I really knew and he treated us with love and respect.
Today is the first time I have officially remembered my veteran biological father on Veterans Day. I want him to know how much I appreciate his sacrifice for our country and freedom. I also want him to know how much I love him for being my father. I was truly blessed.
I’m just saying,
Milton Andrew Wigley Winstead