Sentimental Journey was one of the iconic songs of WWII. Doris Day recorded on November 20th 1944 with the Les Brown Orchestra. It is bittersweet about going home. They say you can never go home again, but ultimately you can. Two of my six brothers-in-law will be making a sentimental journey with their father’s remains as they drive them in his motorhome from Temecula, CA to Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent. They plan to stop and see relatives, living and dead, along the way and spots that their parents loved to visit in their motor home. Said my brother-in-law Phil, the third of the seven boys who cared for both of their parents until they died within a month of one another, “We are going to bring Dad up in his RV, stopping at several locations: Judy and Diane's homes [cousins] in Sacramento, The Redwoods, The Oregon Coast and finally Grandma and Grandpa's grave site in Clarkston. From there on home to the final resting place at Tahoma National.”
I had to wipe the tears from my eyes when I read of the planned trip. These have been hard times for the Haeck family and hardest of all on Phil and his family who stepped up to the plate and cared for the parents as their mother’s health failed. They had looked forward to spending some time with their father, but it seemed that, as so often happens, he could not long stand being separated from his wife. Now Phil will perform this last act of love in bringing his father home to the Puget Sound area where the couple raised seven wonderful sons to be buried with his beloved wife at Tahoma National Cemetery. Steve, the oldest of the boys, will be journeying with them and Dave, who will be returning from his year and a half as a commuter husband in Arizona, plans to meet them along the road as he journeys home himself.
“We are having a sign printed,” wrote Phil, “to hang on the back of the RV. ‘This RV is carrying Lt. Walter E Haeck home to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery. 1919-2013.’ Anyone who wants to come along or join the caravan at any point along the way is very welcome.” Walter Haeck and Dorothy Haeck will be interned at Tahoma (if the shutdown ends) at 2 PM on October 18th. A celebration of Walt’s life will be at Lake Sammamish State Park at 2 PM the following day. Family and friends are invited to honor Walt’s love of the out-of-doors.