Everett H. Fleming--Descendant of Nicholas Robbins
Originally published 10 Nov 2013
Everett H. Fleming
Everett H. Fleming: 1923-1995
On the eve of Veterans Day, I’d like to say a few words about my father, Everett. H. Fleming, a descendant of Nicholas Robbins, and a World War II veteran. I have thought of him a great deal lately though he’s been gone over 18 years. He could be a challenge to live with sometimes, but then, aren’t we all. And he had many admirable qualities: he built up and ran a greenhouse business for more than forty years—working until the day he died. He could construct just about anything he needed, to include a furnace, a wood splitter, and all his greenhouses. Yet he was always self-deprecating about his accomplishments.
During WWII, Everett spent time in Belgium, France, and Germany. He was a surgical assistant, so, though he never talked to me about his experiences, I feel sure he did good things for people. According to my mother, he saw plenty of bad things. To her, he recounted the continuous bombing he heard at various times and the desperate conditions in which people were living. And he was sent to recover the remains of fellow soldiers after battles. Mom said he wasn’t the same man when he came home. It’s little wonder. He and thousands of men had been to Hell and back.
My father never wanted any recognition of his WWII experiences. He waved his hand dismissively at the thought of having a military plaque placed on his grave. Upon his death, however, I made sure the plaque was ordered and put in place. It was, perhaps, my last act of disobedience toward him, but I was adamant that he have that one symbol of his contribution.
And so, tomorrow I will be thinking about Dad even more; wishing he were still here, wishing we could talk.