The past few days I have been thinking on what to write to about for Veterans Day. Most of know the history of Veterans Day or Armistice Day and in case you do not just click on this link: Veterans Day for the history of how we came about to celebrate this day.
There will be poems and articles of our brave men and women who over the years served this country, either on the battle fronts or behind the lines. I read somewhere today that over 48 million served in our armed forces since 1776. Most not seeing combat, for every combat soldier there are 5 or 7 soldiers serving in supportive roles.
So, what better to way honor Veterans Day than to honor the men and women I know personally who served?
Many of you know I am an Army brat, that khaki green runs in my blood.
Today I would like to honor the veterans that I have had the privilege to know
My grandfather served in the Army during World War I; My father served in the Army in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, only seeing combat in WWII in France, Belgium, the Rhineland and Germany; my brother enlisted just as the Vietnam war was coming to an end; my husband enlisted in the Navy and served in Europe with the NATO Forces in the middle of the Vietnam War, then after college re-enlisted in the Army serving with Joint Services in CENTCOM (Central Command), Gulf War and the War on Terror, retiring from the PA National Guard with over 30 yrs service; my son served proudly with PA National Guard in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
One cousin served in the Army doing 2 tours in Vietnam and another cousin some of you may know served in the Marine Corp retiring after a few tours in Vietnam and 30 yrs of service. My two brother in-laws served, one in the Air Force in Europe and one in the Army also doing duty in Vietnam.
I have had the honor to work with one lady who served as an Army nurse on one of the hospital ships in the Atlantic during WWII. There was the young man who was a close friend of my fathers who served in Korea but tragically took his own life, suffering from shell shock or what we call today PTSD. I have worked with men serving on board air craft carriers and one gentleman who retired from the Navy was on the first sailors to serve aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, the only ship of her class and the last conventionally powered carrier built for the United States Navy.
There is my neighbor, a retired Korean War Veteran, who for years he served on the military honor guard at funerals of many veterans. Now retired from the military honor guard and no longer being able to get around he put on his uniform one last time to serve as part of Tom’s honor guard.
One gentleman at our church comes every year in his old Army uniform for our Veterans Day service. Another gentleman who served in the Army during WWII has not been able to attend church, came out Sunday to be a part of the service. He spoke at our youth group one Veterans Day and told us he did not do too much during the war. He served in what is now Iran, keeping the supply trucks moving along making sure the troop’s supplies were getting through to places like North Africa – no he did not too much did he, he only made sure food, supplies and letters from got through to the men on the front lines. Like many Veterans he doesn’t see himself as a hero.
My friend’s husband, whom I never met, passed away over 30 years ago from cancer, served in the Coast Guard. There are sons and daughters of friends of mine serving in the Army, Navy and Air Force. Husband, Wives, Brothers and sisters of friends over the years that choose a career in the military leaving the comforts of home to serve in places like DMZ zone in Korea, the Middle East, Iceland and submarines or battleships.
Who is your Veteran or perhaps you are the Veteran? Please add them to my list – let us honor them by remembering what they did. No matter when, where or how our Veterans served, they are our protectors and defenders of freedom.