Pearl Harbor & Going to War


My father graduated from Jamestown High School in Jamestown, North Dakota on June 1, 1939.  He was 17 years old.

That day, newspapers all over the country featured at least a couple of stories mentioning Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.  While the articles contain an undercurrent of concern, there was nothing specific in any of them that would indicate war in Europe was just 91 days away.

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Finding a Box of Old Letters


Just before Christmas of 2009, my parents, then in their late eighties, decided they needed to move. My father, in particular, felt they were no longer capable of living completely on their own.

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Endurance

©2016 Tom Parks – All Rights Reserved


One day, when I was in my teens, I asked my father about his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II. The story he told was simply beyond the comprehension of a fourteen-year-old. Stunned, I told him I didn’t think I would have survived. I have never forgotten his quiet reply, “Son, humans are amazingly strong creatures. When the time comes, you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of and what you can endure”.

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Watching Hogan’s Heroes with my Dad

©2016 Tom Parks – All Rights Reserved


Hogan’s Heroes, the CBS sitcom about life in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, debuted on September 17th, 1965. Our family was living in Burnt Hills, New York, a small, bedroom community upstate just a few miles north of Schenectady. I was fifteen years old and just starting the 10th grade.

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