So, my father passed away May 25th; his memorial service was yesterday.
I’d known that he developed an innovative side-looking sonar at Scripps for submarine detection, and been involved in maintenance of the transatlantic cable taps, but that was all after his USAF and USN military service, when he was in graduate school or the private sector doing oceanographic work.
But I’d also known that he’d served in Germany doing Top-Secret signals intercepts right out of high school. He wouldn’t talk about it much (it was only declassified in the late ’90s) and it was only yesterday that I learned the details of his unit: he served in the US Air Force Security Service (USAFSS). Yeah, you’ll want to click that link. Johnny Cash had his exact same job, and served in the exact same facility, just a few years prior to my Dad.
We were estranged for many years for lots of reasons, but even I choked up a bit when the color guard dropped to a knee and said his piece while handing the flag to his widow.
Thanks for your service, Dad.