I never looked at the definition of a hero until today, since I decided to write about wanting be one…
a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
“a war hero”
Interesting… since I have always thought of myself as a “Wannabe Hero”… maybe… just maybe … I would have been one of them if I had been born 10 years earlier when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. I would have found some way of enlisting in the marines and being sent to the Pacific. Probably would have died a hero on some remote Island out there, who knows, Guadalcanal… maybe even Iwo Jima.
Instead, I just got to watch all the 40’s war films from Bataan to Back to Bataan… and John Wayne became my favorite actor since he starred in most of them… so many released before VJ Day. Sands of Iwo Jima didn’t release until 1949… when Philip was heading off to High School at age 14.
By the time I became the self-sacrificing 17 year old draft dodger I talked about a couple days ago, things were obviously changing. Now that I was no longer draft exempt because I was in college, I needed to find another way from being sent to Korea.
So… Phil discovered the New Jersey National Guard… signed up… (these were the days when National Guard Units were NEVER activated) and spent the next 8 years being a weekend warrior with a 2 week stint in the summer at Camp Drum New York… until he had enough kids and was no longer eligible for the draft.
Just a little side note here, to say that it was a very good thing we were never activated. We were not ready for anything even remotely resembling a real war… but that is another story.
This story gets worse for a wannabe heroe… maybe tomorrow…