Today we celebrate our Veterans, and remember those that died fighting for our country. I have the great honor of knowing some of the most wonderful people who are veterans.
My grandfather was an Airborne Ranger in WWII. He was MIA in enemy territory for months until he was taken in by a family in France that was eventually able to get him to the American Embassy. He died at the tender age of 91 with little said about his time over seas, but left me a box full of memories I continue to piece together to reveal the harsh reality he faced.
My biological father served as a Marine during the Vietnam conflict. He too speaks little of what happened during his time there, and has since moved on with life.
My step-father served in the NAVY. No war occurred during his service time, which gave him ample opportunity to get into trouble. A spider monkey in a utility closet during inspection rings a bell. Oh the stories he has are going to make into one of my books some day!
My uncle, my step-dad's partner in crime, served in the Army at the same time...getting into the same kind of trouble. These two are what the comedy black and whites were modeled after!
My father-in-law served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He was one of the few that served at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir--otherwise known as the Frozen Chosen. Some may remember Chesty's quote as they sat surrounded by the Chinese and Korean troops: "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." My father-in-law says very little about his time overseas.
My husband and I met while serving in the Marine Corps. Ours was a forbidden love that I will also write about some day. He served many oversea operations and got out in 2000. I served through 2001 and was recalled after 9/11 to served through 2002. We were finally married in June of that year after I came home. Our oldest son was just turning 4 then and was in our wedding; the following year he thought we were going to have another party like our wedding to celebrate our anniversary! That should be the way we celebrate, but who can afford it annually?!
Many of our friends still serve in the military, all branches, and we are very proud of them. My thanks and prayers are with all those who have served, are serving, and the families that sacrifice to support them. Our government is not perfect, but our military is the reason we have the freedom and rights to screw it up. Remember that when you sit down for supper, kneel down for prayer, and lay down to sleep tonight.
Have you hugged your veteran today? Happy Veterans Day!