In Memory of My Dad
This is an open letter to all of those of you who feel like I do that I never got to say good bye or are searching for that answer that has haunted us for 50 years. Some of us are looking for a person or a place, some are looking for just someone to talk to about their thoughts. Or need help in deciding what we are looking for? Most of us are looking for the peace, for the deep wounds we have from W.W.II perhaps another war. I personally lost my dad to the war on November 27, 1944 at the age of (barely) five. He was only 28 himself, and I understand maybe one of the older soldiers. He wanted to go and help our country stay free as so many did. If only we could have some answers from, where did they go, or what can I learn about them. I have memories and family who told me about my dad. I'd still like to know what he was like through the eyes of people who were with him in the last months or moments of his short life. I feel so much pride in my dad and what he gave and we gave for our country, but still the little kid never forgets the love of a daddy they didn't get to grow up with.
My mother and I had a home and she went to work to support us, as many of you know there wasn't much pension. So many women either worked or re married, or even had to give up their children. Some of those stories are varied, my mother did go to work and then remarried. In that time people expected you to go on without really looking at your feelings. I know that a lot of the veterans came back to broken homes and bad memories of the war. Some of course were real lucky and had their families waiting and went on even with the bad memories. The ones who came home we all are so thankful for and some are now opening up to share with us, I know how hard this must be, because they lost their buddies, that at one moment they were fighting with and then he was gone. My dad was one who was buried in Holland instead of being brought home. There is a lot of pain attached to this because he didn't come home for me or our family to be able to say goodbye too. Or to have a answer to where he was to a little kid. I always believed my daddy would come home and knew someone was keeping him from me. Even though I was told and somewhere I might have understood there was a burial place but I couldn't see it. So when I was 23 years old I finally went to Margraten, Holland where that finally resting place is. I saw a beautiful place with thousands of white crosses. I wanted to stay close to that place and feel my daddy but knew I couldn't. It did help me, but not to the place that I've finally started to reach now. One of the veteran's I've spoken to said "he's with his buddies". That for some reason has made a difference to me and given me a different way to look at it. I as a Christian so I understand that is not where my dad is, but as a child you don't understand and when you can't see that place its not real. I still can't just go by and place the flowers or talk to him but I do like the fact he is with his buddies. Talking to these veteran's is such a gift it is hard to put into words. I found an organization that has helped me find a lot of peace and inspiration to go on with my life finally. I'm letting myself open up and responding to help and things are coming to my attention that probably were always there. Just didn't see them, wouldn't allow my self to see because of the pain. So I've probably compounded my pain over the years, now finding people like these who have helped with this page on this web site to help me heal. Also learn to feel self worth that a daughter grows up without when loosing her daddy so young.
I'm thankful for the help I've received and that's the reason for this page is to offer you support in you search. Or a place to tell you tell something you need to share. If we don't know the answers we can search together I'm learning by listening and asking. That's been a tough thing for me to learn to ask. Some of the hardest things to learn are there are really people out here who care. These are some of the wounds, from a war that I didn't fight, but I lost one of the very most important people to me in my life in.. I owe this opportunity and this page to Howard Swonger who served with the 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division. He's been a very supporting and generous friend with his time and efforts to helping me and anyone who comes to this site. He and his son have done such a great job of putting this site as well as the "Hell On Wheels" site dedicated to the 2nd Armored together. That's how I found Howard searching on that site. I'm here to somehow to offer my hand to someone who has felt like I have. This is the reason for this letter and page. "GOD BLESS AMERICA" and the memory of those would served. Carla Sue. Proud daughter of Pvt. Morris Harold "Buster" Kingery, 41st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, " Hell on Wheels Co. G, 3rd Battalion.
Carla' tells the steps to take to get information from the military:
FIRST STEPS I TOOK: The first record you should get is the record from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This record will have the veteran's service number in it and also may have a social security number. It will also show designated next of kin and will contain marriage records and birth certificates. To get these records call (800) 827-1000. This will ring at your regional office. They will be able to tell you where your veteran's record is and where to write. Then write to that address requesting a complete copy of everything in their file. ( Remember you are only eligible for these records if you are next of kin and the veteran was killed or missing in action.) If you already have the selective service number, you will want to write to the National Personnel Records Center for the veteran's "jacket" right away also but do this only after you have the selective service number. Ask for a copy of everything they have in your veteran's personnel records, "jackets." Also ask for the "MED" ( medical ) records. (You must have a selective service number and ask for "MED" ( medical )records specifically as they are only filed under the selective service number. These are not file by name). Additionally, you can apply for any medals which you lost or never received. Write to: National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Boulevard St. Louis MO 63132
Need a little more help email Carla at firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to help:
Awon : A place to begin the search for further information concerning a loved one that may have given their life in World War II, for the freedom that we enjoy today,That was reported taken prisoner, missing in action or killed in action in WW II. You may receive the help here that you have been looking for.
Impression of Memorial Day in Holland: War Cemetery at Margraten , Holland, photo's shown on this site.
Purple Heart Recipients : A good site, has a lot of good information.
American Battle Monuments Commission: This site has information, ( location ) on all military cemeteries, that are situated in other countries.
National Personnel Record Center: (MPRC) (MPR) Where to get military records.
Honor Guard: Veterans of America
"Lest we forget": A tribute to my dad and all veterans, by Maria Sutherland.
Lassy: 349th Sqdn, 100th Bomb Group, 3rd Air Division, 8th Air Force
Carla's Email address is: email@example.com