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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. A Pet Peeve About Obituaries

Chuck Hinman: A Pet Peeve About Obituaries. Chuck says, surely anyone interested in reading my obituary isn't waiting until it hits the papers to 'see if that rascal' was DIShonorably discharged.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - When I Can't Sleep

By Chuck Hinman

A Pet Peeve About Obituaries

I am an inveterate obituary reader - I don't anticipate a recovery from this habit in my lifetime.

Prefers obits that let emotions show

My speed-reading skills have been honed by scanning obits. My preferences are obits obviously written by a close family member who lets emotions show. I avoid reading obituaries by certain funeral homes because they are carbon copies of each other except for vital statistics and names of survivors (how dull and impersonal).

Being a veteran (41 months service) of World War II, I read pretty thoroughly the obits of war veterans -- these obits are highlighted with an American Flag next to the name. My overseas service was in the Marianas Islands of which Guam, Saipan, and Tinian made up the island group. I was a cryptographer assigned to the 20th Air Force. Our outfit gained notoriety as being the ones who bombed Japan and ended the war with the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. In reading obituaries of veterans I am curious whether my paths and the paths of the decedent might possibly have crossed.

Since earthly life is so short and eternity is endless, I am very curious whether any indication is given in the obituary as to the decedent's hope of life after death. It seems to me to be something friends and family would be vitally interested in reading if they didn't already know it from the decedent.

Gags to learn the deceased received an honorable discharge

Well now, you are wondering what's my beef? I'm getting to it. I about gag when the obituary says of a war veteran that they received an HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM MILITARY SERVICE. Well da-de-da! What did the reader expect? Of the relative few details of the dead person's life, wouldn't you expect that 99.99% of them DID NOT screw-up and get a dishonorable discharge? Why mention it if it's a non-issue.

In all the thousands of obits I have scanned, never once have I read of a decedent being DISHONORABLY discharged. How much more comforting for a family to know about the decedent's preparation in this life for the next one. Amen. Take it from me, an honorable discharge isn't of particular interest on a resume. It goes without saying.

Promises to haunt if honorable discharge shows up in own obit

If my family puts in my obituary that I was Honorably Discharged from the service on February 4, 1946, I promise I am going to come back and haunt them in some way. I think it's vastly more important to people interested in my life, that I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 35 years old. (I already have my obit written so there is no slip-up!)

Surely anybody who would be interested in reading my obituary isn't waiting until my obit hits the papers to 'see if that rascal' was DIShonorably discharged..., etc.

Written by Chuck Hinman. From It's Just Me, 2005.

This story was posted on 2014-02-09 04:28:20
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