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AJClarkson50 karma

My father was one of these unsung heroes. He had cerebral palsy, so he was obviously 4-F when drafted. He was in university at Johns Hopkins (chemistry major) when a Navy team recruited him and a lot of his fellow STEM students. He ended up doing counter-espionage, which he said sounded a lot more James-Bond than it actually was: basically he sat around in waterfront bars and listened to sailors talk. if any of them said stuff they weren't supposed to be telling, he'd call the Shore Patrol.

He said the coolest thing he did was he "saw every kind of bar fight you can imagine, and a few you couldn't imagine in a million years" (apparently Longshoreman v. Male Ballet Dancer was one for the history books).

He was the only disabled person I have EVER EVER heard of fulfilling any sort of wartime role (outside of those actually disabled by the war itself). Have you heard of any others? Surely there was something that the disabled were suited for?

ETA: side question. He said he was given the "equivalent rank of Ensign," and was able to eat on the Navy's dime (as a Depression-raised hillbilly kid, he was amazed that a full sugar bowl was on the table for every meal in the officer's mess). What does that mean, "equivalent rank" and how does that even work?

AJClarkson25 karma

Good answer. In my section of Appalachia, private graveyards are the norm. On my family's land, we have two graveyards, one well over a hundred years old, one only twenty. It DOES feel better to have my parents close, to know that I and my family dug the grave (and filled them in after), that we are there to take care of them. It is especially comforting because the neighbors and cousins come in to help dig graves, clear brush, even repair bridges where needed, unasked; even in death there is community and connection.

I don't know if this applies everywhere in Appalachia, but in my area, the law says you cannot block somebody's access to a graveyard. If my sisters and I sell our property, the new owners could not stop us from taking care of the graves. Social mores help; somebody who objects to allowing such access is almost universally condemned for being selfish.

AJClarkson21 karma

Dad said he had the perfect disguise. Who on earth would imagine a "crippled man" (his term) could be working for the military?

AJClarkson4 karma

I started losing my hair about ten years ago, thanks to illness. I couldn't afford to buy one of the high quality wigs, so I went to scarves instead. I LOVE my scarves. Dozens of colors, hundreds of variations of print, texture, shape, lots of ways to wear them (turban, bandana-style, layered, etc). In winter, I'll sometimes switch to hats (I love cloches), but generally I stick to my favorite.

So why did you choose a wig instead of other alternatives? Personal taste?