In honor of a veteran and my father-in-law, Robert Threlfall

Published 10:37 am Friday, August 16, 2013

While he did mention a few entanglements with Communist troops, he also had some lighter stories. I remember him telling about finding a tiny bar in China where they served real beefsteaks.

Excited, and hungrily anticipating a meal none of the guys had enjoyed since leaving the states, he and some buddies wasted no time in getting to the place. Their plates came out of the kitchen, sizzling and fragrant. The steaks were placed in front of them and, in honor and thanks to the Marines who had protected their village, the servers cracked “Hundred Year-Old Eggs” that had been buried in the ground, over the meat. Well, you can imagine the rest of the story.

Gathering information for this small tribute, I sorted through dad’s box of photos and letters home, hoping to find his reflections on the war. The only thing I found was one page he’d written for a family history diary for Gorden, telling what I’ve written here.

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His letters contained only thanks for packages from home, assurances to his mother that he would be fine, and questions about family and friends. I was disappointed to find no musings or deep thoughts. Then I realized those letters spoke volumes about his thoughts: all of them for home and family.

Whether at King’s Mountain, Gettysburg, Japan, Europe, Korea, Vietnam or the Middle East, home and family is the deepest longing our troops have always taken with them. Let’s honor those who served, this November and always.