I've been meaning to do a longer post about recent events, but this post demanded attention.
This past Sunday, I went out to the airshow in Monroe, NC. It was great to see it again, after the ongoing blip in time known as 2020. I saw lots of planes, friends I hadn't seen in years. But I have come to realize why I go to events like the airshow. I'm looking for my grandfathers.
Both of my grandfathers served in WWII. My dad's father, Don Coston, served in the Navy on the USS Conbarre, which survived a torpedo attack. My mom's father, George King, was a founding member of the 9th Division, and was part of the campaigns in Africa, Italy and D-Day. It was with him that I went to Army reunions in the 1990s, and remains a huge influence on my life.
I saw and hear both of them as I walk through all of the WWII displays. Walking through the transport plane that flew over Normandy the same day that George went ashore. All of the comments that would have made, and their occasional cursing. Yes, I hear that, too, guys. I hear you.
Recently, I discovered a home movie from 1948 that includes my dad's parents. There's Don, with a full head of hair and a cigar in hand, leaning over my father, who was just six weeks old. Here he is, a few years removed from the war. Moving forward, but those days were always a part of their lives. And in so doing, became part of mine.
Happy Veteran's Day to all that served, and those that carry their stories. See you again soon, ol' kids. At the next airshow, and in the stars.
November 11, 2021