Last week I shared some of the keepsakes I have from my Dad's childhood. Now on to his career.
Dad graduated high school in 1948 and joined the Marine Corps. His dream was to fly airplanes.
It seems he loved airplanes from a young age and had many model airplanes in his room.
My Dad did not go to college, but did qualify for flight training school and would become an officer once he completed his courses. To do so he had to be discharged from the Marine Corp (he was a private first class) and enlist in the Navy so he could go to flight school in Pensacola, Florida
Here he is in his navy uniform
accepting his diploma from the naval pre-flight school
He became a naval aviator in 1950
he was then decommissioned from the Navy and went back to the Marine Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant
He continued his training at El Toro (Santa Ana), Calif in early 1951
These are from his personal photo album
He flew in the Korean War taking off and landing on air craft carriers and was awarded the air medal for "meritorious acts while participating in aerial flight as a pilot" in Korea.
In 1952 he was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas as a Flight Instructor and it was here that he met my Mother.
They married in 1952
My brother was born in 1953
In 1955 my Dad adopted me and I became a Buschmann too!
Dad was just Dad and his job was being a Marine and flying airplanes...I never thought much about it as a child. I lived either on base or in communities where many other Marine families lived.
My Dad was a hard worker and did his job well and was promoted many times. Here he is with his Capt's bars. He went on to be promoted to Major and in 1966
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel!
We were all very proud of him.
I really began to 'think' about the military and my Dad's career in 1967-68
My Dad was stationed in Vietnam my Senior year in high school. With all the protests on the news I became aware and concerned.
I was and am a proud Marine Brat and never protested the war. I wouldn't do that. I did discuss the war with my Dad and his take on things really made me grow up and see the big picture.
This is my Dad's jewelry box. He did not wear much more then his wedding ring and a watch but the occasional cuff links and of course dog tags. These items mean a great deal to me. We have some of his uniforms and military insignia's but they are in storage and I didn't get them out to photograph them.
Many of my Dad's things have been shared with my brother and the 4 Grandchildren but these three pair of cuff links are the one's I kept. His initials, the Marine Corp insignia and these ruby colored stones.
This is his Naval Aviator Wings
Dad received the Legion of Merit award for his time in Vietnam. He was Commanding Officer of Marine Air Control Squadron 4. He was authorized to wear the combat 'V'. This was a very high honor. We all were (and still are) so proud of him!
My Dad retired from the Marine Corps with almost 25 years of service in 1973.
He went on to have a second career as a computer programmer for Litton, Industries
He retired a second time and planned to travel with my Mother across the country in their RV. Things didn't go as planned. Sadly my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's with Lewy Body Dementia. It was hard to see this brilliant man unable to remember how to do the simplest things. I must say Dad kept his good humor through all of it. Mom became a caretaker and eventually a widow.
On July 21st it will be the 10 year anniversary of my Dad's passing. We all miss him very much. He was an Honorable man who taught me so much and influenced the person I am.
*taking a cry break here*
Both my parents were 'keepers' and I am blessed to have so many photos, mementos and other items to help me remember their lives.
I have much more to share in future posts and not all will be so sad!
Thanks for staying with me for this long wordy post.
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