I only briefly met my father, once when I was nineteen and bicycling around the country, and the one last time, before his death, in 1995.
Growing up, he was absent, no calls, letters, even birthday wishes were not even expected.
On that trip to Florida, before he died, we talked for 3 days, and none of it (almost none) was about the family, or who said what and/or why this or that happened, what we talked about was his time in the Navy during WWII.
My father, Bill Klebold, loved the Navy.
The happiest, saddest, most intense, and most emotionally bonding experiences all happened to him in those ships in the Pacific. He said, and I want to quote him:
“I trusted the men on that ship with my life, we were a tight-knit unit, every single one of us — knew we could count on the others with our lives — and that was a wonderful feeling I never had again in civilian life.”
I don’t know where to put that, about a man I barely knew, but I felt called to tell you, my friends, that little piece I have, of Bill Klebold, and how I consider his service to his country, the inheritance I cherish the most. And I think, he would be happy about that.