My grandfather was one of those whiz-kid types who graduated college while still in diapers. I think he went to Harvard then Johns Hopkins for Medical School, graduating with a full MD at something absurd like age 21. He then went onto be a family doctor back in the days when being a doctor was really something special to the general public, something revered and something that I desperately wish that the medical field could get back to.
He made house calls, delivered babies in the middle of the night and ministered to the sick and dying. His name was Joseph, just like my dad and my middle son (Alex’s middle name) and he missed out on most of my dad’s childhood because he was laid up with tuberculosis in a TB sanitarium.
My grandfather, Joseph, was also a doctor in the United States Army in World War Two and among the first to liberate the concentration camps.
What he saw there, the dead bodies amongst the living, those poor souls forced to live in what must have been hell, in the sorts of conditions that I cannot even fathom as I whine about it being “too hot” outside, he never spoke of.
I don’t know that he could.
My grandfather was a hero.
To be able to touch the lives of those people, even those who didn’t make it, or those who had already passed, and to tenderly care for them, that is what a hero is.
A hero is someone who leaves their own family, the comforts of their own home, and selflessly serves their country. They take care of what needs to be done, and they do it with pride.
I’m proud, too. Of all the soldiers, of their families, and of my grandfather, who would, were he alive, be horrified by my blog.
It’s a DAMN good thing he’s not here to read it.
AMERICA, FUCK YEAH: