Englehart’s View by Bob Englehart
Every Veterans Day, I call my dad in Indiana and wish him well and thank him for killing the Nazis. He’s 90 years old, but when he starts talking about his time in London with the Office of Strategic Services, it’s as if it all happened yesterday.
This is a man who has been out of the Navy for 67 years who still is haunted by World war II and we expect men and women who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan to shake off that trauma and put on a happy face.
When my dad was fresh out of the service, there were no mental health programs to help, no nothing. My dad didn’t even talk about what he did in the war until the 50th anniversary of D-Day. I said to him, “The Vietnam veterans, that’s all they want to do is talk about their experience. That’s the thing about you World War II guys. You won’t talk about it.” he said, “We weren’t suppose to.” I always took that as an admonition that comes with being in the spy service and also a generational thing. The men of my father’s era didn’t talk about the pain they were going through, whether it was divorce, business failure, financial trouble, confusing feelings, or whatever. They weren’t suppose to.
Well, the historical 2012 election is over so let’s all thank the people who protect our democracy. Happy Veterans Day to you servicemen and women and thank you. Here’s the phone number of Connecticut’s Military Support Program from the Connecticut Department Of Veterans’ Affairs if you want to talk to somebody. Talking is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.