Tag Archives: horror

“Old Man Jack-ism” #4


Day after tomorrow – two years ago – Old Man Jack left us. He would be free of his nightmares of war which plagued him nightly for seventy years. While it is self-serving to reblog your own story, I am reblogging this for the sake of men like him who gave away their youth to serve in hell. People today need to KNOW and REMEMBER.  I regret the huge majority of Americans today are ignorant of what people had to do so that we can enjoy – and complain – of what we have today.
Rest in peace, Jack. I will try to visit you today to say hi.

Masako and Spam Musubi

“Koji, don’t let anyone tell you different.  War makes good boys do crazy things.”

That was the first time Old Man Jack shared something with me about the war in a voice of unfeigned remorse.  In turn, it was one of my first journeys in his time machine in which he allowed me to ride along.

Front row seats.  Free of charge.

It was in 2002 to the best of my recollection.  It was just before my littlest firecracker was born.

__________________________

KA-BAR.  If you are a World War II US Marine who served on “those stinkin’ islands”, there is no explanation necessary.

A KA-BAR was a Marine’s most prized personal possession.  It was always at their side.

They opened their C-rations with it.  Dug foxholes with it.  Chopped coconut logs with it.  Hammered nails with it.  Indestructible.

Most importantly, for killing.  Designed for slashing and stabbing.  Desperate hand-to-hand combat.  To the death.

The KA-BAR…

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The Forgiveness of a WWII Sailor


In an earlier blog, I praised Old Man Jack for his forgiveness.  It is not possible to write about what he did or saw out on the god-forsaken islands in the Pacific during World War II.  Only he truly knew what was in his soul.

But in spite of his exposure to combat in that very personal and bitter war, Jack’s practice of forgiveness was his most important contribution to the healing of this world.  The world we enjoy today.  I truly believe that.

Old man Jack loved my kids – perhaps his warmth and the forgiveness in his heart will shine through.

Jack was in the hospital often in the last five years of his life. We went as often as we could to say hi.
When Jack was laid up in the hospital and couldn’t make the block party, my kids wrote him a special 4th of July greeting. They wrote “Big Jack” as my son was known as “Little Jack”. Yes, I named my son after old man Jack.
Old man Jack loved it when my Mustang won at car shows. Here are the “two Jacks” in my life. You can see old man Jack’s trademark grin.
We’d sit outside on our front lawn whenever we could… He’d share his sailor’s wisdom (with appropriate restraint) and my kids would smile.
My kids lead the way to one of our breakfasts. Against my wishes, he’d insist on paying for the kids’ chow as well. I could never win.
He loved it when we’d all visit with him in his home. He loved my kids. Imagine that…
My oldest son loves to work on his muscles – as did old man Jack in his youth.