"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You Veterans and Your Families!

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

This morning as I looked at the pictures of Memorial Day from around the Country I am reminded of my own family.  Members of my Dad's Family fought in the Revolutionary War from Viriginia, in the Civil War from Ohio and Virginia, in WWI and WWII.  My grandfather who was gassed in WWI died when my Dad was five.  Grandpa to me was my Dad's Grandfather who played a huge role in my Dad's life stepping in for his Dad.  I can still remember sitting in the back seat of our car on his lap with an ice cream cone and going to sleep on his lap and hearing him laugh as there was ice cream every where.  

My husband joined the Marines at 17 turning 18 years old on a ship full of Marines headed to combat in Korea.  He was a Marine Corps forward air controller right on the front lines.  I wasn't even in grade school when he was serving but Uncle Dean served in Korea as well and married my aunt when he returned from Korea.  I can remember helping decorate their car as little kid.  My Dad and my Uncle Dave had a great time putting all sorts of things on their car while my cousin Scott and I got to do clean up for the most part.  We thought we were a big part of the decorating when looking back, we were the clean-up crew.

Several friends from high school died in Vietnam whose names are on the Wall.  With starting to work at Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson AFB in the late 60's, I knew a lot of people who left to serve in Vietnam and then returned to Wright-Patt including two of my bosses.  Our office received the casualty reports every day that went to the Command Section along with what the Air Force was doing.  The mission of our Command was to keep the planes flying so our Commander made trips into SEA (Southeast Asia) to our depot facilities to make sure deadlines were being met and to stress the importance of their jobs.    Our pilots lives depended on them getting the planes fixed and back in the air.

We adopted a young Lieutenant when he worked for my husband at ASC at Wright-Patt while awaiting pilot training after graduating from the AF Academy.  He was on TV the night the raids were launched in the first Gulf War.  We were watching TV and there he was climbing into an F-4.  That brought the war close to home for our family.  He wasn't the only one we knew personally flying or being involved in the war after our years around the military.  We were transferred to Kelly AFB, TX, after the launch of the Gulf War and on the way saw convoys of troops and vehicles headed to the nearest AFB to be loaded on transports and taken overseas to the staging areas used for the attacks on Iraq who had invaded Kuwait.  

My husband always told our three children not to go in the military but our oldest daughter didn't listen and joined the Navy.  She was a graduate of Great Lakes and in school in Pensacola when 9/11 happened.  Knew she was far away from the terrorists attacks but not being able to get in touch with her was a horrible feeling.  She ended up several years later being deployed to Sicily to the Navy's repair facility for their aircraft flying in and out of Iraq.  We were so happy to hear her voice when she returned to the states and was home for Christmas that year.  Her husband who was also in the Navy flew many flights into and out of theater from Sicily as part of the crew in the back that were monitoring what was going on in Iraq.

When my son-in-law retired and my daughter was discharged from the Navy and they were on the road  headed for Florida, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.   I am so proud of my daughter for serving our Country but as a Mom I am just happy she decided against making it a career.  Now they are parents of my two beautiful granddaughters which I thank God for every day.

Please thank the men and women of our military who are serving and who have served over the years along with their families.  God be with those have lost their lives in the defense of our Country and give peace to their family and friends so they know how grateful this Country is for their sacrifice.

God Bless America and those who serve and have served this Great Nation!

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