I have exactly two memories of my grandfather.
The first, and the one I keep with me most, is of him taking me fishing when I was god-only-knows how young. I remember walking down a rickety wooden pier to a small waiting boat. Fishing poles clanked against the metal sides as my grandfather stepped in, sat down and reached for my hand.
The second memory creeps into my head every time I hear the word cancer. I remember walking into an enormous sanctuary holding my mother’s hand. Colored light poured in through stained glass windows. Large wooden pews stretched to either side of me, with rows of thick red cushions. I remember a nurse wheeling a pale, slender man in slowly. It was as if he was already gone. I was too young to really know what was going on, but I could see he was sick.
My grandfather, Kermit Roosevelt Crawford, was born November 23rd 1922. He left this earth on April 30,1985 after a fierce battle with cancer.
He lied about his age so he could join the Army Air Corps in 1939 at only 17. He served his country for 33 years, 3 months and 3 days.
I came across an old photo album, filled with pictures from his time in India and Asia during World War II. Looking through these images is indescribable. Seeing a part of his life that I would have never known about is amazing.
I would give anything to sit with him now and talk. I would give up every piece of my camera gear I own, and never make a single picture again, just to be able to make a portrait of him.
But through his pictures, I can imagine what it would have been like. The images are a living history, not only for one man, but for our nation as a whole.
That’s my grandfather, on the lower left, staring strongly back at me. ~shared by @ernrocks
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