Remembering my Dad, Vernon, on his birthday, December 10, 1918. My gift of a family legacy, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

by | Dec 10, 2012

“People like myself could go on and on, but that would take a book.”  Vernon H. Sparks, Coxswain, USS West Virginia,. December 7, 1941  Quote from this website…

United States

In the United States, the United States Army Military District of Washington (MDW) is responsible for providing military funerals. “Honoring Those Who Served” is the title of the program for instituting a dignified military funeral with full honors to the nation’s veterans.
As of January 1, 2000, Section 578 of Public Law 106-65 of the National Defense Authorization Act mandates that theUnited States Armed Forces shall provide the rendering of honors in a military funeral for any eligible veteran if requested by his or her family. As mandated by federal law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of no less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent armed service of the deceased veteran. The honor guard detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the flag of the United States to the next of kin and the playing of Taps which will be played by a lone bugler, if available, or by audio recording. Today, there are so few buglers available that the United States Armed Forces often cannot provide one.[7] However, federal law allows Reserve and National Guard units to assist with funeral honors duty when necessary.

Dad passed away in 1998…  It was and still is with deep regret that I chose not to attend his memorial service with full military honors for his sacrifice and service to America during his 22 year US Navy career, including all of WWII, and one additional year during the Korean War…  Dad served with pride and honor like so many others who protect our freedoms and sacrifice so much in doing so.  Like so many of my generation of “Boomers” we didn’t understand war, nor did we hear much about the horrors of our fathers’ combat experience until much later in life, if not at all.  Countless families and loved ones had no idea that the war would not end with so many soldiers in August 1945.  We celebrated and honored our veterans following WWII.  But after the celebrations were over, and the reality of life after war kicked in, our warriors suffered in silence with nightmares, depression, and anxiety.  We now know so much more about moral injury and PTSD.  If I had known much earlier, my anger toward Dad and our toxic family life would have left me long ago.  I tried to erase my past, but the baggage was tucked away solidly until researching and writing my book.

I now honor Dad and our proud family legacy by helping others become more aware of moral injury and PTSD through my book, blog, and participating in public forums as appropriate.  This is my lasting birthday gift to him and our family and veterans of all wars… May Dad rest in peace…

Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 9:00 pm | Updated: 6:58 pm, Tue Dec 6, 2011.
Infamy’s impactJIM FOSSUM The News GuardThe News Guard | 0 comments

Seventy years ago today — “a day that will live in infamy” —became a day that Depoe Bay resident Steve Sparks would live with every waking moment of his life.
And he wasn’t even born yet.

Family inspiration

Author Steve Sparks’ daughter, Bianca Cavello, was the inspiration for his newly published book, “Reconciliation: A Son’s Story,” after she started asking long-held questions about her dad’s childhood and family, including his mother and father.

test4Family inspiration

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
View all posts by stevesparks →

You might also like

Translate »