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Old August 10, 2010, 02:27 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,772

My father's gone now, but I did have almost two years of that very special time to talk and get to know more about him.

He didn't like to shoot, but he bought me a rifle (Mossberg 140K bolt action .22) when I was 12. Wouldn't let me shoot it until I had earned the money to buy a cleaning kit ($2 - took me weeks to save).

We did go fishing quite a bit, but almost never shooting or hunting. I didn't find out until the last year of his life, during one of those talks, that he had killed two German soldiers during the war, both face-to-face and close enough to see into their eyes as they died, and those events haunted him the rest of his life. He well understood it was war, and kill or be killed, but those things are very traumatic, and he still had nightmares about it. He had never spoken to anyone other than my mother about it.

My experience is very different from yours, but the message is the same. I'm forever grateful that we chose to retire near family and that I got that time with him, and my mother as well, as a result. Take the opportunity, it's well worth it.
mykeal is offline  
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