Posted in memoir, Veteran's Day, Writing for healing

For My Father, Veteran’s Day 2014

Dad with his angel wings


If I could talk with you again

I’d ask you about Okinawa,

Where you painted with local artists

And delighted in their customs,

Laughing with the children,

While disgusted by the horrid dregs of war.

Now as I look at you

Standing tall and towering,

The light beaming angel wing above your back,

Graces the image

As if to say, “this is one who cares,”

A medical doctor,

Cataloging, taking notes, always observing,

You befriended many, tending to their wounds and words.


dad painting on okinawa


okinawan children


Journal prompt: Are you a veteran or do you have family members in the service? Write about how war and military conflict has affected your life.

Discussion: I have some stories of my father’s service years on Okinawa. He was a medical doctor specializing in mental health. As an artist, he developed close friendships with Okinawan painters and saved the artwork they did together. I still have those paintings on my wall. Through the artwork and photography that Dad did while in the Army, I learned to appreciate his deeply humanitarian nature. The troops returned home by ship across the Pacific and on into San Francisco. Dad talked about a rainbow appearing as they approached the Golden Gate Bridge. “I had never seen such a beautiful sight, ” he said. “We just wanted to get home to our wives and families.”


the ships copy
End of the War


Copyright © 2014 by Susan E Rowland


I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

4 thoughts on “For My Father, Veteran’s Day 2014

  1. Wonderful story. This is a beautiful reminder war cannot snuff out humanity and gifts that bring healing to its wounds. I love that your father shared the artist in him and his pictures hang on your wall. I love the rainbow that greeted your father when he came home. Most of all I see the love of a daughter who is sharing her gifts for remembering and writing.

    1. Thank you so much. Dad was a good guy-even though I didn’t always feel that way as a teenager. I’m working on a special twist, a true account, to his story about the Okinawan painters. They have since passed away. I can’t stand losing that generation.

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