Veteran’s Day, Again

When I hit the freeway this morning and saw how little traffic there was, I realized that Veteran’s Day had turned into a two-day holiday this year.  So I thought I’d post some of the pictures of my dad, Kenneth Goelzer, that I rounded up yesterday morning when I was digging up pictures of Jack.

In the spring of 1941, my dad graduated from Lake Forest College with a degree in English.  He went to work in the advertising department of Schuster’s Department Store in Milwaukee, and in September he and my mother, Ardys Buenger, were married.  Mom worked at Schuster’s, too, but they didn’t meet there–they’d been friends since they were eleven years old.  In October Dad left his job to enter the naval reserve midshipman’s school at Columbia University in New York City.

After teaching communications for the Navy for a while, Dad moved on to sea duty, spending much of the war as an officer on the USS The Sullivans.  (That’s him in the middle of the front row, looking rther casual with his sleeves rolled up.)

In between dodging kamikaze attacks and typhoons, there were opportunities to relax.

Dad stayed with The Sullivans in California until late 1945 or early 1946, but he had no interest in a military career and left the reserves as soon as his enlistment allowed.

In the early 1990s, several years after Dad passed away, Jack and I worked on a cultural resource survey of the Marshall Islands (Jack travelled the South Pacific while I did the long-distance research, alas), and I learned that The Sullivans was involved in the Battle of Kwajalein. I imagine Dad was there in the thick of it.  I wish I’d had the chance to ask him.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl Bolen
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 22:06:17

    I have come to understand your Jack’s fascination with reading about and studying WW II. It completely fascinates. My latest riveting read about it was The Unbroken. An unforgettable story by a master storyteller. I thought of it when you mentioned the Marshall Islands. I tried to watch Speilberg’s The Pacific on HBO, but it was far too painful, and I had to stop after about three episodes. It was even tougher on those poor (mostly young) soldiers, IMO, than that awful Battle of the Bulge in which feet were lost to frostbite.



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