Again… I had this written and couldn’t attach photos while I was at the coast for a few days.
Today for Family Friday I want to pay my respects and give thanks for the many men and women who sacrifice in the service of our country and communities to ensure freedom and certain standard of living I enjoy. Today is the observed day for Veteran’s Day. Today I’d like to honor the people in my life who dedicate their lives to such service.
I start with my dad. He enlisted in the Marines in the late 1960s just as the Vietnam War was beginning. He was attending college in the Portland area and playing soccer. I knee injury he got while playing soccer kept him out of the war.
Feeling the need to serve he became fire fighter, a Red Cross instructor, one of the first EMTs in my hometown, and served people in any way that he could. He still does.
My Grandpa Vern White served in the Army during World War II.
He was sent to Europe and helped restore freedom to the war turned countryside. His service effected him deeply.
My Grandpa Mabee served in the Navy. He was sent to war on ships in the Pacific area.
He never talked to me about his service. However, I can’t help but think that his serve also effected him deeply due to the life ups and downs that he experienced.
My uncles, Richard and Byron, from my mom’s side of the family, both served in the Military. My uncle Ed, from my dad’s side of the family, served in the military. (Sadly, I don’t have pictures of them.
Now, my nephew, Montana, serves in the National Guard.
A young man I have adopted as a son-in-my-heart, Jacob, serves in the Navy and is currently on deployment somewhere in the world.
One of my friends, John, who is more like family, served in the Marines during the Iraq War.
My father-in-law served in the Korean War. My brother-in-law and my nephew on my husband’s side of the family have served in the military.
I don’t think these men want to be placed on a pedestal. I think the best way to thank them for their sacrifice and their service is very simple.
Listen to them. When they are ready to talk about their experiences. Listen.
Remember their sacrifice. Many of them lost friends and loved ones. Many feel guilt of survival. Remember them and be patient as they struggle to heal from the horrible things they went through. Maybe even, participate in their healing process by volunteering and supporting policies and organizations that offer them relief from their suffering.
Learn the Constitution, get informed, and vote accordingly. Don’t allow the rights that veterans fought, died, and bled for, to be voted away or limited due to ignorance, laziness, or a sheep mentality.
Simply do what God put you on this earth to accomplish — build a business, grow a family, advocate for things you are passionate about. The best thanks you can give to a veteran is living a life of meaning only available in the United States
I love these men who have contributed to my freedoms. I love these men who have sacrificed their comforts and sometimes, their own freedoms for me to have opportunities. Thanks is not enough. Following their example is one of the best ways to say thanks.
So, for Family Friday, I honor those men and women in my life who have served.