Sunday, April 8, 2007

In Honor of Captain David P. Gibson: Updated

Forty years ago today my dad was killed in Vietnam (47 years in 2014).  My mom was pregnant with me when he was killed, so I never had the joy of having my dad around.  This day has always been hard on me, even more so now that I am a parent.

I struggled most with my 28th year. That was the age he was when he was killed.  It was almost as if I was afraid to outlive my dad.  I understand much more, as the years have passed, especially with the current war going on.

We must support our troops, and their families, it is because of their sacrifices that we have all the freedoms we have.  I believe I am allowed to voice my opinion having lost something that no daughter should lose, her daddy.

I spent several weeks when I was 29 in my dad's childhood home to get to know him.  It was quite a profound visit.  After 29 years, classmates of my dad wept openly when they spoke of him.  I was so surprised when I went to the house he grew up in, when the owners took me in and gave me a tour.  I went during the summer, but the high school principal, who went to school with my dad took me to the library and found all the yearbooks that my dad was in and helped me photocopy the pages he was on.

It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about a man I never knew.  My mom struggled when she would speak of dad, because she would say it was too hard.  I didn't understand what she meant until I married.  I cannot imagine life without my Bill.  I would not be able to speak of him, it would hurt too much.

So to all the readers of today's post I want to share with you my dad and a few things that he missed. Dad never saw one of his kids lose a baby tooth, he never made it to any of our graduations, nor walked his three daughters down the aisle.  He didn't have an seventh wedding anniversary with my mom. He missed out on all our marriages, 15 grandchildren, and almost three great grandchildren*(updated below).

What he accomplished: he had the strongest wife a man could ever have.  She raised us with such clarity, never angry at his military service.  She instilled her children to be very proud, honorable citizens of this great land.  My dad gave his children the American dream, through his sacrifice.  I ask all my readers on this day to please give me a comment of optimism on this ever so hard day.

The legacy of David and DeSales: parents of Cathy, David II, Liz, John, Peter, Jennifer
grandparents of David III-1980, Ann-1983, Tony-1985, Danielle-1986, Katie-1987, Cameron-1988, Bill-1989, Ashley-1990, Peter-1990, Ruben-1992, Parker-1992, Trey-1993, Carson-1994, Caliana-1995, and Mari-2006

great-grandparents of Lily-2003, Parker-2005, and his namesake due this month David Parker Gibson IV, ****since 2007 additional great grandchildren of David and Dee~Sam Gibson, Eva Gibson, Kayd Creighton, Kam Creighton, Zoey Bracken,

I thank God that I am the daughter of such noble parents, and I ask all Americans to recognize that war is hell and the soldier is not the only causality of war. I also ask Americans to support our troops. 


1 CAV DIVPurple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam CampaignCombat Infantry

ON THE WALL       Panel 17E Line 121
Update: Mom died on February 19, 2011, she was 72.  She outlived dad by 44 years. 
Frances Desales
April 14, 1938- February 19, 2011

Dad and Mom's wedding day Killeen, Texas.
August 27, 1960 

Mom holding me
Peter 2, John 3, David, Liz twins 4, Cathy 5.

Dad's name on the wall.
A reader sent me this photo after she read this post.

I love this photo of dad and mom. 
I never saw this until after mom's death.
She had a very hard time speaking of dad and looking
at this photo, I can see why. She loved him ever so much
and her heart broke when he was killed.

The flag that draped my dad's casket. 
Mom had this in her home when she died.
David Parker Gibson III has it in his home now.

 My oldest son.
He served in the army for 4 years with one tour
in Afghanistan.  He is now a deputy sheriff.