Candie wasn’t his little girl any more. She was a married women, she had children and grandchildren.
He was gone now and Candie was thousands of miles from home. She knelt and wept at the prison camp where he had suffered.
She walked along part of the 70 miles he was forced to walk as a prisoner of war, aware that 70 years before he had passed the same fields, seen the same mountains in the distance.
He was so young when he was forced to experience atrocities that would shape his life forever.
He was my father Ken Davis Sr and Candie is my sister. She has honored his life and his faith in a very personal and inspiring way.
I am writing this on Veteran’s day. My dad was part of what has been called “the greatest generation.” He and countless others sacrificed so much to insure our freedom.
Shortly after enlisting dad was captured defending Bataan. He endured the infamous Bataan Death March, two prisoner of war camps, a death ward in Bilibid Prison in Manila, a Hell Ship transport, and a forced labor camp in northern Japan. His body and health were ravaged and his will to survive severely tested. But survive he did! And thrive he did.
When he was finally liberated in September of 1945, my dad weighed ninety pounds and had learned lessons few twenty-four year olds could even imagine.
It would take three months in three different hospitals to nurse Ken back to his normal weight, but his experience as a prisoner of war would stay with him. His faith and his character forged in the fires of war would carry him through the rest of his life.
In one of the hospitals dad met another ex-POW who showed him a picture of his sister, Hazel Brown. Dad said he was going to marry her. Three months later he did, and contrary to the doctor’s conclusion that he would be unable to father children, he fathered five.
I was the only boy.
His favorite son!
Candie retraced the steps of his suffering, she saw the places he was held prisoner and endured forced labor. She saw what make him into the man that he was.
God was with my father during every moment of his captivity. His faith and his suffering shaped all of us. The last 8 years of his life dad suffered from Alzheimer disease. A prisoner in his own body. He was set free from all pain, oppression and sorrow when he went to be with Jesus in 2006. He left behind a family of love and faith forged by war.
Candie’s book “Forged by War will help you look your own family in a new way. It will give you a great appreciation for what they have done for you.
I beg you not to forget the sacrifice of men like my dad, just because Veteran’s Day has passed. Each day give thanks for all those who paved the way for our freedom with their suffering and blood.
Grab a tissue, read “Forged by War” and be prepared to take an inspiring journey that may change your life. Please let me know how the book impact your life.
Who in your family has served in the armed forces? I would love to know their name and where they served. I refuse to forget.