A Birthday Tribute

Dateline  21 August 1944:  Second Lieutenant Robert L.Saferite….  shot down over France….captured by enemy forces…. 

After completing 38 missions and 100 combat hours flying a P 47, Pop was shot down, captured, and force-marched to Germany.  On the way to the German POW camp known as Stalag Luft #1, his feet froze.  He spoke very little of the hardships he endured as a POW.  On May 1, 1945, he and fellow POWs were liberated by the Russians.

Although he died on December 13, 2009, today is Pop’s birthday.  Had he lived, he would be 90 today.  The picture at the bottom of the page was taken on Pop’s 80th birthday. The members of S Troop (the blended Saferite and Seymour clan) pooled their money and bought Pop some flight time in a T-6 Texan.  Pop never lost his touch as a pilot.  He took the controls of this plane and did a few loops and rolls. 

After the death of my dad (Eddie Seymour) in 1965, Mom married Bob Saferite (Pop).  He was my father figure for over 40 years—I could not have asked for a better step-dad.

From my dad, I learned: Any job worth doing is worth doing right.  From Pop, I learned:    A man is only as good as his word. 

As I think about Pop today, I do so with a great deal of love and gratitude, and I say: I can still feel the touch of the pilot who has guided me for the larger portion of my life.  I give honor to his memory today.

Happy Birthday, Pop!

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