Before I talk about Family, I’d like to point out the cool thing NASCAR did today. Yesterday’s race was postponed until today due to rain. So today at 3pm, when the President asked for a minute of silence to Remember, they stopped the race, stopped the cars on the track, turned them off, and the entire stadium did the moment of silence. That’s cool.
My grandfather, Robert Joiner, served in the Philippines during World War Two. He didn’t tell me many stories, but he told a few. He was a lieutenant, and one time he found a couple of privates trying to shoot a coconut out of a tree with a carbine. He went over and pulled out his .45 pistol and said “This is how it’s done gentlemen”, and with one shot hit the stem and it fell to the ground. He just walked away so that they wouldn’t know it was complete luck. The Army .45 wasn’t accurate enough for anyone to actually pull that off on purpose.
That’s really the only story I have. I know he was a communications guy, and we still have the telegraph key he used to learn Morse code. He brought back lots of stuff. I have a tachometer from a Japanese tank, some japanese binoculars, and we have two Japanese sniper rifles, one with a bayonet. One of the rifles he had to cut in half to get back to the US.
I also have some Japanese pesos and dollars. The pesos were for the Philippines, and the dollars were in preparation for taking Australia.
My grandpa survived the war and came back to live many years. He was a plumber for a few years, but then got Multiple Sclerosis, and spent most of my life in a wheel chair. The government took good care of him though. They helped pay for a house with an elevator in it (grandpas with elevators are wonderful fun), and paid his medical bills all his life. They paid for a huge conversion van with an elevator and automatic door in the side, so he could travel.
My uncle Mike did 3 tours in Vietnam. He was drafted for the first, and volunteered for two more. He and my dad were drafted at the same time, but my dad had Hepatitis, and they told him to come back when he was better. By that time they weren’t drafting anymore.
I know even fewer stories about my uncle Mike than my grandpa, despite sharing a bedroom with him for a year or so. He taught me the phonetic alphabet for radio use (which ended up being really handy), and the proper way to pop someone’s eyes out during a fight. The war was hard on him, and it still is.
I don’t know of any other family that went to war. On my wife’s side, her uncle went to Vietnam, and her dad was in the Marines at the same time, but they didn’t want to send both brothers to Vietnam, so he kept an eye on the commies in the Caribbean.
I actually think about the contents of this blog post quite a lot. In high school I planned on joining the Air Force, and we lived near an Air Force base, so the military was a pretty significant element in my life. You think about it more when it’s there all the time.
That’s all I have to say about that. Don’t forget.