{This is a re-post that I originally posted on Memorial Day 2009.  I wanted to share it again.  Have a happy holiday and don’t forget to thank a serviceman!}

 

flags-in-memorial-day

It’s the soldier, not the reporter who has given us
Freedom of the Press.
It’s the soldier, not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of Speech.
It’s the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the
Freedom to Demonstrate.
It’s the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the
Right to a Fair Trial.
It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and
whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protester the right to burn the flag.
~Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

 

gmajeangermany

 

My family is thick with Veterans.  My Grandma Jean was a nurse during World War II.  I think her rank was a Major (but I could be way wrong){ETA:  Grandma was a Captain.  Very few female officers in WWII!}.  I love looking at her albums full of pictures.  She spent time in France, Germany, Brazil.  She was an officer and she served our Country.

gmajeanparis(my grandma is the short one in the middle)

granpadeeShe met a man in the hospital named Richard D. Hines.  I think he was a Private.  He was in the hospital because he had been hit with shrapnel in his leg.  He spent weeks (if not months) in the hospital under her care.  It was in this hospital in Germany where my grandma and grandpa fell in love.  My grandpa gave his leg for this country.

My grandpa was discharged from the Army as a disabled Veteran.  My grandma eventually retired from the Army so she could marry him.  They could not date while enlisted since she was a senior officer and he was only a private.    They went on to create a family.  They divorced.  Then they died within a month of each other…while living in separate states and being divorced for 20 some odd years.

 

 

My birth father (who died when I was a child) served the the Marines.  Unfortunately he never went past basic training because it was decided that he had a disability with his knees that prevented him from service.  I guess this is a good thing because who knows if I would be here had he gone off to Vietnam.

dadgwThis is my dad, Jim.  He did serve during Vietnam.  He was a flight mechanic.  He doesn’t talk a lot about his time overseas.  It’s very painful for him.  He still has bad dreams and he’s 70 years old.  He retired from service after 20 years (I think) and receives full benefits from the Navy.  He is a hero who served his Country.  Memorial day is a very special and somber occasion for him as he remembers his past.

 

Even my husband, Bob served in the Navy.  He was a radio man on board ship.  He wishes he had stayed in the Navy to serve his country for longer.  But circumstances took that away from him.  It’s a decision he regrets.

 

So today, on Memorial Day.  Remember.  Remember who has fought, who has given everything for our freedoms.  Remember those that never come back, and those that come back broken.  Please thank a Veteran or active Service Member today.  It is because of them that we are the country that we are!  Thank you!