“Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3
I loved my late father and mother. They made it easy because they were two of the most kind and loving people you could imagine. They were both Christians. My wife also loved them dearly and we actually shared our home with them for the last thirteen years of their lives. It was a wonderful experience.
My father served in the Navy during WWII. He was a member of CASU 11, (Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 11), approximately 100 men sent to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. He traveled aboard ship for several weeks with ten other young men. They arrived on the island together, put together a makeshift camp, and worked for more than a year repairing and maintaining combat aircraft in the heat and humidity. There were alligators, snakes, mosquitoes, and Malaria.
They all survived, returned to the U.S., got married and raised families. As they got older, they reunited and spent much of their retired lives visiting each other, talking on the telephone, and having reunions. They were true brothers.
Wanting to see and experience the place my father and his “brothers” had served and recalled in their stories, my wife Trisha and I set out for Guadalcanal. Through Bill, another son of CASU 11, I acquired some maps and the name of a guide. Both worked out well and we found the old airfield (Henderson Field) and the campsite of CASU 11. In addition, we visited the sites of many horrific battles that took place on Guadalcanal and the many memorials dedicated to those who served and lost their lives.
It was truly an adventure of a lifetime and one we will never forget. Our local guide Stanley was an extremely knowledgeable and a wonderful human being. He was a Christian and we will never forget arriving at the airport for our departure when he turned and prayed for us and our safe return.
Above: My father, Henry Franklin Parker and the entire CASU 11 Naval Unit. Our local guide Stanley and his driver, Bentois, holding a CASU 11 banner that Trisha made before the trip. Trisha and local workmen, me with Stanley taking in the Lunga River and talking about events past. Locals at work and play.