The Norman Transcript

December 27, 2012

Thinking of the military at Christmas

By Mike McDanel
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — I was 12 days old on my first Christmas. Mom lived up in the 300 block of Rich Street. My father was somewhere in the Pacific, a Marine, doing what Marines do.

On Dec. 25, 1970, I flew two bombing missions. One was 2.1 hours. One was 2.2 hours. One night, one day. Christmas dinner was likely in the dirty shirt ward room on the U.S.S. Kittyhawk — if I had Christmas dinner. My wife was here in Norman, waiting for me to come home in six or seven months.

On both missions, thousands of feet below me, were men fighting and dying and being held in various sorts of prisons.

I have many wonderful memories of family Christmas gatherings. I think I’ll take a moment more this year thinking of the Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and coasties, who are not with their wives, husbands and children at Christmas time who may be, as they say, in harm’s way. Perhaps, we all should.

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