Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Weaving a Tale of War, Wine and Wonder January 26, 2010

I have been watching the re-broadcast of HBO’s, Band of Brothers, having missed it the first time around. It is an excellent series, poignant, realistic, and thought-provoking. The personal stories of the soldiers and the atrocities of war that they endured are extremely moving. The series has caused me to think a lot about my father who passed away over 17 years ago. He was a WWII veteran who spent time during the war in Italy and Germany and watching this series has given me a glimpse of what that experience may have been like for him, or maybe not. My father would often tell “war stories” when we were growing up under the right set of circumstances. By that I mean that he was not one to go into a tale about his time in the service at just any old-time – usually his storytelling was more of a “treat” – something that happened on special occasions – like when he was holding court at the head of the table during Christmas Eve supper. And let me just be clear here – I loved hearing my dad’s stories – he had a way of telling them that was animated and alive – whether it was about some mischief he got into as an adolescent – or a delicious dinner he had at a favorite restaurant – my recollection was that he could really hold your attention. His army stories were some of the best in the collection. But my dad’s war stories were nothing like those seen in Band of Brothers. My dad was a cook in the army and his stories would be about things like; finding some wild mushrooms in the woods and cooking up a special meal for his buddies, or meeting some warm locals who shared their homemade wine with my father and his friends. To this day, I honestly have no idea if my father ever shot off a round of ammunition or saw the bloody skirmishes of war. If you asked him directly, he would say that he never did any real fighting, but I don’t know if that is true or even possible given where he was stationed. In fact, it is just as likely that he was protecting us from hearing the stories that we would never forget for reasons other than their entertainment value. There are all sorts of ways that we protect the people we love. I will never know the real story – but I guess I will go with the one that I was presented with by my dad. Sometimes in life you just get lucky – and maybe during his tour of duty in Europe my father was spared the atrocities of war. And whether or not that is 100% true – the fact remains that we were spared them in the retelling.