It brought to mind my grandfather, who fought in WWI in France under General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing. I never heard any stories – he never told any, to my knowledge – not unusual among those in WWI. They saw things that shook them to their cores. Many of them were affected by PTSD for the rest of their lives. They fought valiantly, both at war, and afterward.
My father was in the Army Air Corps in WWII, but was stationed stateside the entire war. However, he was available to go overseas at a moment’s notice.
My husband’s father was in the Navy in WWII. He was a bosun’s mate and drove an LST in the South Pacific – my husband thinks it was at Tarawa.
My husband was in the Marines, briefly. He was mustered out (AFTER passing basic at Parris Island with promotion to private) because he had an old injury to his right shoulder and arm. The MD decided he wouldn’t be able to handle a pistol with his right hand. He cried all the way back home. But he has taken pride in the fact he was in the Marines, for however short a period.
Oldest son served in the Army in the 82nd Airborne for 12 years. Daughter served in the Army in the Tank Corps for 4 years. Youngest son served in the Navy Medical Corps, stationed with the Marines, for 6 years.
This is a great country, but as Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” In order to remain a free nation, we must be willing and prepared to shed our blood to protect it. I’m proud of the military history of our family. And I hope our tradition passes down to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I hope we can instill the kind of patriotism their forefathers had into our grandchildren. I fear they will see major conflicts in their lifetimes. I hope they face these honorably and patriotically.
God Bless America!