My father was First Lieutenant Michael A. DeMarco, in the OSS Special Reconnaissance Regiment, Company B under General Donovan in the second World War. Their mission, coded PAT, parachuted 15 men into the Tarn in France with orders to “harass and destroy the enemy, cut German communications and supply routes and strengthen the resistance movement.” I have shared my Father’s memoir of that time, and now a broader history of the PAT Mission has been researched by Meredith Wheeler with a Fulbright Scholarship to support her research. http://www.ossreborn.com/files/OG_PAT_A_Fresh_LookPhotos1.pdf
As I read this history again, the words that send shivers through me to this day are: “Within two weeks, the south Tarn was liberated. Some 4500 Wehrmacht soldiers surrendered to 12 OSS men and a few hundred Resistance fighters‐—most of them poorly‐ armed, under‐trained maquis.” My parents named me Patricia in honor of this mission. I reflect on this Veteran’s Day on the legacy I carry from these brave people – a call to courage and a cry of hope.
From my Father comes the tremendous courage to prevail in spite of the odds and obstacles. In all situations he brought caution, thorough preparation, ingenuity, and determination to the problem. This applied to recreational camping as well as to all domestic enterprises. So growing up in these conditions was often a challenge as we were constantly being prepared for battle, whether one materialized at once or not. From my Mother comes the outrageously defiant act of having a child in the wake of the atomic bomb. Her fierce determination to maintain hope and optimism in the face of gloom and disaster infused everyone she touched. I am so tremendously blessed to have such parents and the example of both of their lives of self-sacrifice, service and teaching.
In the aftermath of this election, I feel called in their honor to stand for what is ethically and morally necessary in the face of impending tyranny. As I have been reflecting on the serious implications of Trump’s election, I am torn with several emotions, including outrage that Democrats missed the pleas of the Sanders supporters so badly. People wanted a change, and Hillary was just too cautiously embedded in mainstream politics to resonate with their frustration. We are getting a change alright, but in the wrong direction!