My brother wrote these words, I couldn't have put it any better. Thanks Dad, thank you Vets.
68 years ago on Nov 1, 1943 ,
My father Ernest C Owens, a young Marine at the age of 19, hit the Beach in Empress Augusta Bay on the Island of Bouganville in the Solomon Islands during WWII. He was severely wounded in the Battle of Piva village just a few months after the landing.
My father was of course a very important and influential part of my childhood. Those events on that Island influenced all us in our family in one way or another. We grew up with a father with a crippled left leg with the scars of the machine gun bullets that ran up his leg as well as the eye he lost when a Japanese Mortar round hit close to him. That round killed every marine near him and he was found laying on their bodies in the hole it created.
He was a good father who struggled with his injuries but NEVER let them interfere with his ability to be a real man. He fought, protected us kids, and provided for his family. At times we as youngsters did not understand him or what he had been through as a young man, and rebelled as young kids will do (especially in the 60s and 70s).
Yet he was hard but fair, and could be funny, gentle and a disciplinarian when he needed to be.
Even today after all these years, I rely on the lessons I learned by and from him on how to deal with life. He was not perfect by means. He was a flawed human being like we all are. But I continue toremember how he showed strength, bravery, determination and integrity that was impeccable throughout his life. He was an incredible man and father. I cant think of anyone that could have ever taken his place. He passed away in 1999 and I miss him every single day