Veterans Day - and a post revisited

I wrote these thoughts several years ago ---  and I thought they were appropriate for this Veterans Day.  

Three of our grandchildren’s dad is in the Air Force. (He has served in Iraq twice. He is no longer my son-in law. However, those little faces that I love, love him.)
Alex, you are in my prayers.

Prior to our meeting, my husband served four years in the late sixties as a submariner. His dress whites are in a storage box. Pictures of his “Boats” hang at the end of the hallway.
Hubby, you were a handsome sailor. I love you.

The army drafted my youngest brother, a conscientious objector, about the same year that my future husband signed. I was in high school and cried as he reported for duty and climbed into the waiting bus. The nightly news was all about Vietnam. Nick was one of the lucky ones who stayed in the States. He never carried a gun, but served in a medic position. He became a respiratory therapist after his stint was complete. 

Billy, my cousin, lived with us his last year of high school before being drafted by the army. Also a conscientious objector, He was wounded in Vietnam when he stepped on a land mind while carrying a comrade off the battlefield. In the following years, he often complained of tasting Agent Orange in his mouth.  He died in his twenties from a brain tumor.

My eldest brother graduated from College in the late fifties and received his “Greetings”in 1958. “The White Coats” in Maryland was his military family. They were eager to use Ron's degree in Biochemistry.
Big brothers, - You made our family proud.

The hubby’s dad (1925-2002) was yet a teen when assigned to a sub chaser in the South Seas during World War II. That is why he was still young enough for call back during the Korean Conflict. In 2001, I asked him to share his story at our Memorial Day Barbecue. The hubby and his sister heard their father’s narrative for the first time that day. His memoirs included the execution of his favorite cousin who was captured during a battle. The handwritten pages smeared by his tears are neatly folded and stored. It will be a post on my blog some day.  

Two of my mom’s brothers, George and Wilmer, served in World War II. One was in the European theater. They are both gone, and as far as I know their knowledge of their experiences with them. 

Gram's cousin Victor was entombed in the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on that fateful December 7.
You were indeed -The Greatest Generation.
Tecumseh, my dad’s 23-year-old brother, died of pneumonia while serving in World War I. Dad spoke of him with quiet admiration.
Uncle Tecumseh, I knew you because dad told me about you. Now my kids will know about you, too.

During the Civil war, Typhoid fever killed my maternal Great Grandfather George. My paternal Great Grandfather Elisha, lost his arm in battle. Great Great Grandfather Ambrose on the hubby’s side was a cavalry soldier in that uncivil War, as well. He returned home safely. You can read about them in my post One Wore Blue.
You men came home and mended a broken nation.  May your sacrifices and forgiveness remind us about unity and greater good.

The Revolutionary War included my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Titus Travis, who was on the “Muster Roll of New York Provincial Troops,” and his son George, with four greats. George escaped after being captured by the Redcoats. Through your commitment I am a "Daughter of The Revolution."
Thousands of children are your descendants. Thousands more have arrived here to share in the dreams that you had. I like to think my grandson has your smile.

The best Veteran's Day ever would be the one where there were no more Veterans in the ranks  because there were no more wars.  

In the meantime, in the real world, I need to say thank you from my heart to all the Veterans and their families.  Why does thank you just not seem like enough.    


grammy said…
wow...that is quite a Family. Hats off to all the great Americans that served in your family...and all across the nation. My Dad was on the USS Oklahoma when it was bombed in Pearl harbor. He was one of the few that lived through it and helped his fellow sailors get to safety.
Jan n Jer said…
You can be proud to be from such a long military family. I also come from a Military family, my Dad n two brothers. My Hubby served in the Navy during peacetime. Hats off to all those vets and their dedication to our country.
Steve Skinner said…
Well said! My thanks to all who have served.
foam said…
what a tribute to your family. i loved reading this.

your family and my family have a similar history concerning the wars. my husband is a vet and i have family that is still serving plus family that have served, have fought in wars and survived and or died in wars past dating to the civil war. that relative wore gray. i'm not sure if anybody has been traced to the revolutionary war although the family has been around since the early 1700s.

you are right. and thank you hardly seems enough.
Intense Guy said…
What is really special about this is that you captured what all these people did... your memories become other peoples memories... and the appreciation we have for the one or two special veterans we knew presonally grows larger - knowing in a personal - more intimate - way the people you appreciate so much.

I salute your veterans. They make me appreciate the society I am a part of -

I've been reading about the Battle of the Argonne Forest (WWI) where my Great Uncle Russell manned a machine gun and got wounded... The horror - even though its only blurry black and white pictures and stilted words - leaps off the pages - and I just shake my head in wonderment - of him "doing his duty" and about mankind in general for having these wars...

Maybe there is a reason Veterans Day is so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas - we can be thankful and pray for eternal world peace.
Anonymous said…
and Uncle Talmadge White--Also uncle George's four sons(Ralph,George , Bob, and Don plus his daughter's husband Chet Cole--all in WWII and all gone at the same time--Ralph was injured in the Battle of the bulge winnning several medals---Some cousins also served Jim....Brother Mike
Your family is steeped in Military History and you shared it so well..I also remember the blog post about you husbands father and the tear stained pages that was such a powerful post. Thank you does not seem like much to me either..but it is all we have to offer:(
Peter said…
Well said Pamela, thank you may not seem much to us but it means the world to them.
bichonpawz said…
What a beautiful tribute to your family Pamela! I do believe that Thank You is just what they need to hear.
Just stopping by to say Happy Thanksgiving and I miss you! :)

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