My Father’s War is a story based on a diary my father wrote while serving as a young man in the United States Marine Corps during the Second Nicaraguan Campaign in 1928-29. Many Americans are unfamiliar with the Nicaraguan Campaign, but without it the outcome of World War II may have changed. It was in Nicaragua that the ground troops in the American military learned how to engage in jungle warfare. It was also during this encounter that airplanes were used in warfare for the first time. This learning played a major role in how the American military fought on Guadalcanal and other South Pacific Islands during the Second World War.
Nicaragua was a wild and untamed country in 1928. It was a country of extremes in climate, in terrain, and in the people groups who called Nicaragua home. It was a land of diseases, wild animals, swarming mosquitoes, poisonous snakes, stinging bugs, raging rivers, steaming jungles, and rugged mountains.
My father was a soldier in this land. Like many young men he fought for a cause he didn’t completely understand. He was there because he was a soldier. He did his job even when the American leadership refused to acknowledge the fact that the military was engaged in a war. Through his battle experiences he learned to appreciate every man’s struggle, the questions related to faith, and life itself.