I am fortunate to be part of a family that has a history of military men.
Today, I would like to publicly thank them for their sacrifice and willingness to serve our great Nation.
This is my Uncle, Milt aka 'Spider', United States Marines. While some of you were sleeping peacefully at night in the late '60's and early '70's, he was being tortured in Vietnam. He has the machete scar to prove it and the nightmares to accompany. "Thanks" just isn't enough.
Above, is my dad, James, United States Navy. While he served during 'peacetime', he was stationed for a time just beyond the coast of Vietnam. While folks back home enjoyed Thanksgiving and all the trimmings in the late '50's to mid '60's, this man was eating green (literally) chicken and throwing it all up afterwards while the ship tossed in the open seas. Dad, thank you.
The 'young man' you see in the chair is my husband's grandpa, Harold. He served our Country during WWII in the United States Army. He had a lovely wife, Erma, waiting for him back home. They have now been married over 66 years. Grandpa, thank you. (And Grandma, thank you for waiting for your man!)
The man on the upper right is my husband's dad, Rod. The United States Army first sent him to Germany in the late '60's, then off to Vietnam in the early '70's. He had a wife and baby girl waiting for him back home. Some time during active duty, he was thrown from a jeep in Korea and broke his back. Thanks for your service, Dad.
This man is my husband's other grandfather, 'Whitey'. He served in WWII in the United States Navy. I don't really know much of his story, but no one has been able to take the 'sailor' out of him yet! Thank you, Grandpa.
The men above would claim not to be special, just doing their jobs. But I beg to differ. They are true American Heroes. One lived the rest of his days being everybody's favorite mailman. He is now retired and re-builds the m1-Garand as a hobby. Another is now retired after working over 30 years in the electronics and communications industry. One is still employed and has been for over 30 years in management and computers. Another was an electrical lineman for 40 plus years. And another owned his own auto repair shop for well over 45 years before retiring.
These are the 'men next door'. If you know a man that has served, but is now simply 'next door', go over, ring the bell, and shake his hand. Tell him thanks for defending your freedom.
And remember why so many are currently deployed to defend our freedom today. Remember September 11.
Happy for your freedom....