Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day, when I was working, I always looked forward to it as a day off and the beginning of the horse show season. As I get older I think more about the sacrifices of those who have gone before us and the sacrifices of those in harms way today.
I don't remember much about the time my two older brothers, David and Dennis were in the service. I do know Dennis made life long friends from people he met while stationed in Germany and has traveled there and hosted them here since then. He is the one who taught me about traveling on the 'mooch plan,' line up family and friends along the route to stay with. One Christmas we drove across the United States to visit David and his family at Virginia Beach, VA where I dipped my toe in the Atlantic Ocean. Tom, who is closer in age to me, was in the service during the Vietnam era and spent some time in Okinawa, but those in charge discovered his flat feet and discharged him. Wouldn't you think they would have found that before investing so much time in him?
Bruce's father, Leo, was in WW2, and stationed overseas when his first child, Janet, was born. The Red Cross didn't get word to him for 3 days and he never forgave them for that.
Leo's cousin, Bob, was also in WW2 and was a prisoner of war, that experience really changed him.
My own sweet hubby, Bruce, was in the reserves and always feels as though he isn't a true veteran. He was a cook and had to get up at 3:30 AM every day and didn't finish till about 9 PM, he made the boys homemade 2 crust apple pie and taught me how to make gravy. His cousin, Dennis, spent his reserve time as a projectionist. I think he should stand up proudly!
My brother in law, Max, was in the navy, his son, Marc, was in the navy and Marc's son, Jesse has done more than one tour overseas with the current wars.
Brother in laws on the French side, John and Tom served their country also.
Our friend and a former co-worker, Howie, went to Vietnam and didn't talk about his experiences for a long time. We had a work party at his house and he showed us movies he had taken and what it was like. He was an enterprising farm boy who did latrine duty for a price from those more squeamish, Howie said poop is poop, not exactly his words but this is a family forum, whether it comes from a cow or a person!
Bruce's golfing partner, Leo's son, Tom, has done 3 tours to Afghanistan and come home safely to his wife and two daughters.
We can't forget the women who have made the service their career and gone wherever they were sent, like my friend, Elizabeth, who has retired as a Colonel, back to the farm in Iowa.
We all know people who are or have served in the past and it seems as though everyone respects the price they are paying to keep us safe, I know I do. I was cleaning out a pile of papers I had saved and found an old column of Joan Burney's from Hartington, NE., one of my favorite people who used to write a weekly column in the Sioux City Journal.
Grandpa was being buried with military rites on a hill at the cemetery. Grandma was seated in a chair on a slight incline, when the 21 gun salute was fired, she jumped, her chair fell over backwards and Grandma rolled out and down the hill. Her little grandson yelled, "OMG! They shot Grandma!"