On this very special day I want to honor my Dad….
Charles Robert Burgess was born July 23, 1922 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was a small town and he always lived in the same home on the same street.
My Dad was a very Proud American. My Aunt Rosemary told me he stretched the truth a little bit about his age to get into the Army National Guard before the war. He had told me that at some point he was a member of the Horse Calvary. I wish I had listened a little better as he would often talk about those days in the Guard. Not so much about WWII. Even though he was very lucky and never had to go overseas, it was still a hard time for him.
When it came time, he enlisted, they did not have to ask him twice to serve in World War II. He wanted to become an Army pilot, and went thru a lot of testing and waiting until he could try out. They found out as they were doing his physical that his depth perception was very poor. That was the end of that dream. My Mom told me even though it was hard for him to accept, she was pretty happy he wasn’t going to be a pilot! He was in Louisiana for his basic training and then was in Colorado, California, Alaska and ended up at Ft. Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma at the end of the war.
When my folks passed I found more than one box of letters my Dad had written his family during the war…he tried to write so often, but found he had little he could share. So much was considered confidential info back then! The letters spoke of his love of his family home and country and of course my Mom Loie, also the incredible loneliness a 19 year old boy felt being away from home for the first time ever. I remember more than reading about once my Grandma sending him cakes thru the mail, how they ever got there and were edible is beyond me!
I have gone thru them and put them in chronological order. He would sign each and everyone of them the same way….
( Your loving son, Charles Love to you all. Don’t worry.)
After the war, my Dad continued his service with the National Guard until he was medically discharged in the 60’s due to being diagnosed with Diabetes. I have vivid memories of the Armory in Lakewood, Ohio and when he would go to Summer Camp a Jeep would come to pick him up, to a little girl that was so exciting!
I miss you Dad, and I am so proud to have you be my father!