Many men serve their countries fighting to preserve freedom and the rights of mankind. My father was one of those men. Well, he was actually more of a boy than a man when he went off to fight in WWII. He fought as a tail-gunner in the Pacific Campaign fighting the Japanese. Yes, he was part of what was known as “The Greatest Generation.”
Not everyone who fought in that war came home with physical wounds. Many came home then, as they do now, with invisible wounds that affected them and those around them for the rest of their lives.
My father, William M. Muhly, lost a lung and a wife (my mother) as a direct result of the war. He contracted tuberculosis while serving and my mother contracted it from him. He survived after a very long stay in a VA hospital and one collapsed lung. However, following a long stay in another sanitarium, my mother lost her battle with the disease leaving a widower with three young children.
I don’t believe my father was ever the same after that, though I obviously don’t know too much about what he was like before the war, before my birth. He may not have led an exemplary life; he may have done some things beyond my understanding, but I know this. As a young man, he put his life on the line to defend this great country and freedom for us all. For that I honor him, and I am proud to say, thank you, Dad.
William M. Muhly, Sr. (center)
4/18/1922 – 3/11/2013