On Memorial Day, For my Father, Major John T. Alstrom, Jr.

John T. Alstrom, Jr.

Since it’s Memorial Day, I  commemorate my Father who fought in the U.S. Army from 1940 until 1951, when he lost a leg
when he stepped on a land mine in Korea.  During WW II he served in China and then the Aleutian Islands.  After released from the Army in late 1951, he settled in Southern California, where my mother and I lived. But, by this time, my parents were divorced, and he soon married a woman who had also been an Army officer.  They first lived in Glendora, California then moved to Monterey Park, California.

My stepmother had an M.A. in psychology from UCLA.  My father went back to college on the GI Bill and graduated from USC.  What I remember most about my stepmother was that she continually smoked cigarettes that she held in a very long cigarette holder.  My father and I were never close and I never knew him well enough to say that I loved him, but I now respect him.  He had a superior intellect and liked to read history books.  My Mother had artistic talent in that she could naturally draw very well, but she wasn’t an artist in her head–she didn’t think like one.  I inherited the intellect from my father but not the artistic ability from my Mother, which I would have loved to have had.  However, if I couldn’t have both, which seems to have been the case, and had to choose which one I wanted, I would probably still chose the intellect, but it’s a real toss-up.  Father died in January of 1984, just 6 months after my Mother died.  I didn’t know when he died until just last year,  when I learned by researching him on the Internet.  By way of the Internet, I also learned that he had received the Bronze Star, which I never knew before.

Father in China during WWII
On Leave back with his family in Kansas during WW II
Mother, Father and Me in Kansas during WW II
Visit the National WW II Museum On-Line

One thought on “On Memorial Day, For my Father, Major John T. Alstrom, Jr.

  1. nice tribute! i think your artistic side shows in your photos, so you do have both! and you write! look forward to reading more posts in time. cheers!

    Like

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