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Thread: the impact of war on your grandfather/father and how it affected you?

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  1. #1
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    the impact of war on your grandfather/father and how it affected you?

    I'm wondering about this for already a while, because so many people here have an opinion about the second world war, and/or know a lot about it. So my main question is, The impact of war on your grandfather/father and how it
    affected u


    I think the way people are being raised up nowadays, still have some influence from that war, or other huge conflict. So in what way did the war had influence in you being raised up? The influence on me was that my grandfather fought in the Indonesian National Revolution for the Netherlands, in there he saw so many bad things that he started drinking, and because of that my dad had a pretty hard childhood, and is also drinking a lot now * result, divorce with my mom...* yes i know its far thinking, but war do a lot to people, not only that moment itself but also many years later...
    So what is the impact of war on your grandfather/father and how it affected you?

  2. #2
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    My father was born in Hawaii in the late 1930s. After war was declared in the Pacific Theater, they had to cover their windows to block the light, couldn't really drive at night, and take other steps to prevent becoming a target of Japanese bombers.

    Some of my father's close friends were interred in war camps. They lost their property and their dignity, even though many were born in America (my father's side is Japanese).

    My father is very protective of America. He is quick to bash countries that don't cooperate with our government's officials, no matter what the policies. He's wary of immigrants and their effect on society...I think this is somehow rooted in how Japanese Americans were treated during WWII, i.e. are you with us or with them? I don't think it has anything to do with his drinking, though my dad is a lifetime beer drinker/abuser. My father also joined the military before college, perhaps in an attempt to help pay back the country that protected him in Honolulu, or maybe to prove he was truly American, or maybe just to see the world.

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    My paternal grandparents lived through both wars - they were small children during the first world war and in their thirties during the second. I have no idea what my Grandma did as she never talked about it, but I know my Grandad was too old to get conscripted so he worked as an air raid warden.

    My maternal grandparents were in their teens when the second world war started - my Mum was born the year after it ended. My Grandad was a miner, so he didn't get called up, as that was a reserved occupation - so I think his life carried on pretty much as normal. My Nan worked at a munitions factory. The way she talked about it, it was just like any other job to her. The thing that seemed to bother her most was that they never saw bananas during the war!

    So my family was very lucky - the war doesn't seem to have much of an impact on them at all.

  4. #4
    suirai
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    It wouldn't be a bad idea to broaden the scope of your question to include all age groups in all conflicts.

    From personal experience I'll tell you that death and destruction are the same in any conflict -- disgusting to most. Definitely not good at all.

    I might also add that natural, sometimes manmade disasters can leave scars on people that are very much like the scars left from being somehow affected by a conflict, such as war or civil strife.
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    My father was in the US Army signal corps in North Africa, Sicily and Italy where he was wounded. He stayed in Italy after the war and helped start the European Basketball Association. He had a wife and daughter there, but I think the war added to his mental difficulties and alcoholism.

    My mother's family was interned at Gila River in Arizona. They lost everything. My mother went to Boston to work as a domestic and later joined the WAVES and made CPO. Several of my uncles were in the Army.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    My father was in the US Army signal corps in North Africa, Sicily and Italy where he was wounded.
    That's where one of my grandfathers fought during WW2. He was wounded in Africa. Apparently he was behind German lines and was shot while up a tree. Well he was taking pot shots at Germans. He ended up in a german POW hospital. Then one day all the Germans left because of a push by the allies. He remembered being given a Purple Heart by the Americans, but then they had to ask for it back as they hadn't got enough for their own men. As far as I know he never really had any hard feeling towards the Germans or Italians. In some ways I think he was quite fond of Italy and the Italians. I don't really know what he thought of the Japanese as he was never in the Pacific arena. My Grandmother got two brown envelopes from the army because of his habit of going missing. When he died, a few years back, my grandmother was more concerned for the rest of the family. Her reason was that she said that she had told he was dead twice so she was used to it.
    Don't really know much about my other Grandfather and the war. He died when I was 9. All I know that he was a regular and was at Dunkirk. He went missing to. Another brown envelope for my other grandmother. When he eventually turned up she had a right go at him.

  7. #7
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    My father was not alone, but slightly unusual (I suppose) in his WWII experience. He served throughout the war, around the world ... and remained a civilian during the entire period.

    He saw, experienced and took part in combat in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean and the Arctic.

    He did it all, sitting on top of 10,000 tons of aviation grade gasoline/petrol!

    He was forced to take to a lifeboat on two occasions, experienced how grim Northern Russia was during that period, and saw Kamikaze pilots "do their thing" during the battle of Leyte Gulf.

    ... but was frequently "looked down upon" when in England ... because he wasn't in uniform!

    Merchant Mariners had to put up with that sort of thing.

    I'm not sure that his experience had any effect upon me at all. My own interest in the period is not that unusual for folks of my generation; in a small way it was part of our lives too.

    ... perhaps his experience did assist me in looking deeper at people rather than just making a judgement at "face value".

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    When I went with a group of Dutch war victims (from the former Dutch East Indies) to Japan in 2000, we (four of us) were allowed to tell our (short) war story at 3 universities and in Kyoto at a Highschool.
    One student asked;"Must I hate my grandfather? I can't because what ever he did during the war, he is still my grandfather."
    She was right and wrong. Of course you can love your grandfather but you must admid that the generation of your grandfather had quite some war criminals in some countries.

    Dutch Daka, what has hurt the young soldiers who were sent to Indonesia in 1946 was not only that dark war againt the Indonesians who wanted their independence, they were also been treated like war criminals when they came back to Holland, also by the government that had sent them to Indonesia. I can understand that many of these men were completely broken when they came home. I have met several of them.
    The veterans have very sad stories and that also counts for today.

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    Every WWII Vet I met that fought the Japanese.....

    hated them till the day he died. They all refer to Japanese as sub-human animals rather they were military or civilian. I think it had a lot to do with our governments propaganda against the Japanese during the war. I think seeing a close friend or having a relative killed by the Japanese Makes the hate very strong. My dad hated the Japanese and never got over the hatred. When I wrote home that I intended to marry a Japanese girl, my dad said if I did, don't bother ever coming home again.
    I guess I can understand hating an enemy you personally fought against, but the idea of the hate being carried down generation to generation seems like wasted energy. When I see a person under 30 posting about their hate for Japan & it's people, be they Chinese, Korean, American, whatever; it just makes no sence to me.

    Frank


  10. #10
    suirai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D. White
    hated them till the day he died. They all refer to Japanese as sub-human animals rather they were military or civilian. I think it had a lot to do with our governments propaganda against the Japanese during the war. I think seeing a close friend or having a relative killed by the Japanese Makes the hate very strong. My dad hated the Japanese and never got over the hatred. When I wrote home that I intended to marry a Japanese girl, my dad said if I did, don't bother ever coming home again.
    I guess I can understand hating an enemy you personally fought against, but the idea of the hate being carried down generation to generation seems like wasted energy. When I see a person under 30 posting about their hate for Japan & it's people, be they Chinese, Korean, American, whatever; it just makes no sence to me.
    Frank
    This is a strange post.

    90% of those vets that have seen hostilities in combat arms DO NOT hate anyone. I know of what I speak first hand. First person, that is.

    Like I said, this is a strange post.

    No further comment.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by suirai
    This is a strange post.
    90% of those vets that have seen hostilities in combat arms DO NOT hate anyone. I know of what I speak first hand. First person, that is.
    Like I said, this is a strange post.
    No further comment.
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    I should have qualified, picture a group of vets , half in the bag, at the V.F.W. & or American Legion, swapping war stories. Alcohol and group (mob) mentality seem to bring out true feelings of anger that don't appear when sober & alone.

    Frank


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    From talking to my uncles, I get the picture that the war in the Pacific was an entirely different experience from most conflicts- the intensity of the fighting and the hardships against a tenacious enemy only highlighted the kind of brutal, horrifying and sick actions that soldiers witnessed. It was apprently enough when combined with the official propaganda, to make anyone hate.

    I think in my Uncle Jim's case, the only reason he got over his hatred of the Japanese was because of the extended time he spent in Japan after the war. It may also have something to do with his rather even temper. (Both of his wives have been Japanese.)

  13. #13
    suirai
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    The "Brutality Scale"?

    It would be nice if people could understand that fear for onefs life at the hands of an organized group of humans is no more or less worse depending on any given situation. A gbrutality scaleh doesnft enter your mind during the action, whether it be hand-to-hand, knives/bayonets/machetes, small or large caliber weapons, mines, whatever.

    In fact, memory gets terribly warped during action and one frequently canft even be sure about what actually took place. AARs are notorious for not providing matching accounts of an action that took place across just a 10 yard front.

    gBrutality scalesh are usually offered up by those that were not there. Surprising to those that donft know, it is some of the most mundane things that one remembers about a given location or action. Some of the most insignificant things seemed to lodge in onefs memory. At least that part of the memory one draws upon when asked to explain feelings about a particular locale or action. Weather and ground conditions also seem to stay in onefs memory for an abnormally long time. It is true that certain images, like still photographs, seem to remain, but it is also true that one feels a sort of disconnect from those images as opposed to whether it was raining, bone dry, with hot or cold making either of the previous two conditions so much worse. And if the weather was for some insane reason pleasant that seems to become a non-factor and gets lost until someone reminds you.

    Itfs a very difficult thing to explain and Ifm faltering right now as I type. I think Ifll stop, but Ifll say it again, gbrutality scalesh are for the historians, writers, and Hollywood types.

  14. #14
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    None of my family members were in WW2...However, my grandfather (on my dad's side) was in the Korean War, and Vietnam war. I only have one picture of him being in Vietnam, and it's him leaning up against a wooden beam that holds a tent up. He's smiling, so I am assuming that he had it pretty easy. According to my father, he worked with communications. I never really spoke to him much because of where he lived. I wish I could of talked to him some more about his life before he past away. He seemed to be a person that is very A positive. Everything must be perfect or near perfect. I would like to call that "Attention to detail" Something that runs in the family. He did, my dad does it, and now I do it. I think the military did that to us.

    As for my step-grandfather, who raised me with my dad's mother (my grandma) since I was three, He was in the Air Force for 4 years as was sent to Okinawa instead of Vietnam. He was there with all the riots and when Okinawa used American money.

    Both ways, I think my Grandfathers had it easy.

    As for me, I don't think it had any affects on me, except to join the military and be that A positive person. I just took it one extreme higher and joined the Marines. I've been to Okinawa, Korea, Australia, Phillipines, Kuwait, Afganastan, and Iraq.

    Wierd thing is. I'm in the communication field as well. I'm a comm technician. I fix what is broken. So I know I have it easier than the others that are on the front lines or in other words. "The ****"

    My life has been great.

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    My father absolutely loves the Italians. He remained in Italy after the close of the war and rasied a family for a while. My oldest sister is Italian. He recounts that both the Italian and Germans in North Africa and Sicily and Italy were good soldiers- and he never saw any atrocities committed... As bad as combat got, when german soldiers surrendered, they would put on a duty cap and be as polite and well behaved as possible.

    My Uncle that served in the Pacific doesn't talk a lot about it except to say that the Japanese would torture and kill prisoners and leave the bodies in mutilated displays for their units to find.

    It seems like two different experiences.

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    my paternal Grandfather fought in the Pacific during WW2 My Father in Vietnam myself in Iraq 2008
    War effects everyone no one leaves unscathed. So most likely everyone living today has been effected by warfare. I do not believe they should draft soldiers into service. I'm sure a lot of great minds have been destroyed that should not have been there
    Last edited by L.D.Brousse; 12-04-12 at 15:27.

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    No, my grandfather was 8 years old when war ended. He told me he sat in a bomb shelter in Wilhelmshaven while the allies drop bombs on the city. My great grandfather has been in the German Reichsmarine. Don't know much about him.

    I never want my homeland being destroyed again.

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