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home : opinion : letters July 23, 2016

11/12/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter: A Veterans Day tribute to Dad

I would like to take the occasion of Veterans Day to honor all veterans who have served, fought and died in the service of this great country.

I honor my dad, Spencer Palmer, who served from 1944 to 1946. Dad was a painting contractor who owned a big paint store and employed dozens of men in our hometown, Columbia, Mo., when he was drafted by the Army at 31 years of age. They sent him to Texas for a course in one of their medical schools. Afterward, the Army shipped Dad straight to Okinawa, where he became the assistant to a renowned neurosurgeon. Dad later joked that he was "the first house painter in America to assist a brain surgeon!"

Among the many things this wonderful, funny man taught me was that I was just as good and worthy as any other human being on the face of the earth. Dad taught me honor, character, common sense and some martial arts as well. He had a beautiful bass voice and loved to sing in barbershop quartets. I'll never forget the world-famous Hummingbird Quartet! Music was always a part of our lives.

Always a hard worker, Dad passed away on Labor Day in 2000. I love and miss him to this day.

Jan E. Freeman

Golden Valley

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

I, remember as a young man, my Dad telling me to study hard, get an education and plan my future. I am 75 now, have 2 degrees, plus advanced medical training. 36 years of serviceI with the Air Force, working OB-GYN. If Dad were alive, I think he would be proud. Kids today are given no directions except sit on your butt and the government will take care of you. A few are focused but not many. Please remember, a government big enough to give you everything can take everything away. Only hard work and education will pay off for you...

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research


Thanks for sharing the story of your father. It's great to see how his influence can span continents and live on with you today.

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: THE TEA PARTY IS ON KOCH

"muslims, homosexuals and welfare recipients are the new American ideal" .. Whatever. I tell you what: If you can get all the conservative muslims, homosexuals and welfare recipients to change, I will work on the liberals. Seems to me that conservatives make up 50% and liberals 50% of these types. Stay in touch and let me know what progress you make.

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Jan Freeman:

You appear to be your Father's daughter. What a nice letter.

Families give up so much when their loved ones are in the military and we often forget that. It couldn't have been easy for your Dad, already established in his business to drop everything and go.

Two of my brothers, older than me, were in the Air Force and I remember how excited when they came home for a few days. One Christmas, the older one surprised us, hopped planes everywhere, then a bus ride and finally walked the last two miles home and walked into the living room on Christmas Eve.

We were blown away - thought my Mom was going to have a heart attack. Two hours prior he had called, let us think he was in Thule, Greenland, then he walked in the front door. One of my happiest memories and a great Christmas.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: all for nothing .....

you wonder sometimes how the World War II generation even made it, and how terribly sad it is now to see all their sacrifices wasted as the current un-American president (small p intended) sells every American virtue down the drain. Muslims, homosexuals, and welfare recipients are the new American ideal under this fraud, while the criminal Fed termites eat away at all thrift and genuine work.

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