|Flags at Bay Pines National Cemetery|
My father and mother are buried at the Bay Pines National Cemetery. Dad was a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and was a veteran of three wars.
He started his military career at the age of sixteen in the Navy during WWII. He had to drop out of high school to enlist and the school principal made him promise to return to get his diploma after the war. Dad returned to high school at the age of 21. He said that he got much better grades at 21 than at 16. The principal then told him about a new thing called the GED, so Dad took the test and received his GED. Soon after he reenlisted in the Air Force and went on to Officers Candidate school.
So here is a story my dad told me about himself during WWII:
Dad was in the Pacific and his skinny, teenaged self was dropped off on a small island by himself. He was told to hold the island against the Japanese. He had no idea what to do, so he just was standing there with his rifle.
Suddenly, the underbrush started waving and out walked two things: a wild pig and an island native. The Islander was pretty scary just by himself, but he was carrying a spear with the head of a Japanese soldier stuck on the end which was very scary. He began to wave the spear around pointing at my dad and the head.
Dad knew that the Islanders hated the Japanese, and hoped that he wasn't being threatened. He was scared to death, but he didn't want to hurt the Islander. Dad figured that the natives had been through enough, so he waved his rifle towards the Islander hoping to get him to leave. Well, the Islander didn't look too impressed with the rifle. Dad realized that he may not know what a rifle is.
So Dad said he did the only thing he could do. He fired…
And shot the pig.
When the Islander saw the suddenly dead and bleeding pig he took off running.
Dad said that violence is seldom necessary and that sometimes it's better if we just shoot the pig.