ScanCafe customer Sharon shares this beautiful tribute to honor the memory of her father, Robert (Bob) Boyd Stuart, a Korean War veteran who passed away in 2016 at the age of 84.
These are some words I use to describe Dad: caring, kind, loving, honest…humorous and a tease, charming and tender, brilliant, creative and clever, a teacher and a student. He was a bit of a dreamer and nothing was impossible…there were only challenges. He had a big voice with a big heart and gave big hugs. He had a warm smile and twinkling blue eyes filled with love and appreciation and a bit of mischief.
Dad was a storyteller. Every time I visited he told stories I’d never heard and just about anything anyone said reminded him of a story. After 60 years of marriage, even Mom was surprised at how many stories were new to her. He was animated and so enchanting and had a way of holding an audience. He captured your imagination. Sometimes I stopped listening and just watched him smile and twinkle, sparking the imagination.
Dad enlisted in the US Army and joined the war in Korea in 1952, serving as an air traffic controller, amphibious tank operator, and jeep driver for high-ranking officials. He wrote a letter to his mom every day he was in Korea. And he brought home some stories. Some of my favorites were of a monkey named Jacko who was left in the care of his unit. Jacko was afraid of water and clung tightly to Dad during the daily washing of his jeep.
The Army shipped Dad’s jeep home in pieces and it was in this jeep that Dad, his roommate Lanny, and Mom drove from Medford to Arizona State University. The jeep had no sides and no shocks and Mom says she can still feel the bumps.
ScanCafe digitized my father’s Korean War slides so I could send them to a Korean War Veteran’s Association. With improved quality and the ability to easily look at the images, I could better see the stories my father told and with the feelings he expressed. The portraits of my father, fellow soldiers, and friends proudly at their post reminds me of the historic pride in doing one’s part to defend a country. The men processing in port and on a ship under the Golden Gate Bridge is seen from the eyes of a young man returning home from war. My father rode the bus from California to Oregon and asked the bus driver to drop him off at the end of his street so he could walk home and ring the doorbell for his mom to answer, just in time for Christmas dinner.
This tribute is in honor of all those who served and especially in honor of my Father, Robert Boyd Stuart, who joined the war in Korea and served two years in the 25th Infantry. On the Korean War Veterans Memorial is inscribed “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met”. This rings true for millions of veterans in our history and in the history of the free world.