The Good Veteran Son

The Good Veteran Son

I recently relayed a tale  from a veteran who witnessed the first Atomic Cannon test-fire in Nevada in 1953.

The retired vet who told that story is now 86, and I met him at my local YMCA a few months ago.

Bent over, he came in with a rolling walker, hooked up to an oxygen tank, with an Asian fellow I took to be his trainer, or maybe a paid physical therapy specialist from the retirement center where he probably lived.

Because he always had a cell-phone tuned in to a local classic rock station, which livened up the locker a bunch..at least for us old guys… I got to know this old fellow, just by reminiscing about Danny and the Juniors and Connie Francis.

Turns out he was retired Army Sergeant Major Frederic Barnett, retired since the mid-80s, and his specialty wasn’t artillery or ordnance, but rather as an expert in personnel matters from the pre-Modern Volunteer Army days. He  actually has some interesting history to share later on about those times which the post 9-11 soldiers may not know. History.

But it also turns out that Asian trainer was in fact SGM Fred’s adopted son, Yong Pak.

In my 70 plus years I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who more cheerfully met the standard “the Good Son” than Yong.. A 7-year Army veteran himself, Yong, now 50, was one of three children belonging to Kwi, a Korean lady who married SGM Fred on his last tour in the Far East, bringing her grown children to the states[…]

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Disclosure: I am one of many grandparents, parents,